Famous belly dancer Sofinar arrested over 'insulting Egyptian flag', released on bail

Ahram Online , Monday 2 Mar 2015

Also known as Safinaz, the well-known Armenian dancer was summoned for the second time on charges of insulting the Egyptian flag

Circulated photo on Social Media Networks shows Armenian belly dancer Safinar wearing a dancing suit with the Egyptian flag print

Famous Egyptian-based Armenian belly dancer Sofinar (also known as Safinaz) was arrested Monday by tourism police in Egypt's Giza governorate for allegedly insulting the Egyptian flag, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

She was released on an EGP 20,000 ($2,620) bail pending investigation hours after her arrest.

In 2014, Safinaz was summoned for questioning by Egyptian prosecutors over a report alleging she insulted Egypt and its people by wearing a dancing costume fashioned after the Egyptian flag.

Egypt's former interim president Adly Mansour issued a law in early June imposing a jail term of up to one year and a fine with a maximum penalty of LE30,000 ($4,000) for anyone who insults the flag.

Some forms of insulting the flag, as stipulated by the law, include raising, displaying or trading a flag if it is damaged, faded or not suitable in any other way. It is also prohibited to add any slogans, designs or pictures to the flag.

Safinaz has been an immediate success since her arrival in Egypt over two years ago, with appearances in several Egyptian movies as well as paid performances at prestigious weddings. 

During her appearance in several talk shows, the dancer stressed her love for Egypt and that she wishes to marry to an Egyptian man as well as to spend her entire life in Egypt.

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