Belly dancer Safinaz to face trial over Egyptian flag costume

Ahram Online , Tuesday 10 Mar 2015

Safinaz could face a year in jail for wearing a costume fashioned from an Egyptian flag

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

Egypt-based Armenian dancer Sofinar (popularly known as Safinaz) was referred on Tuesday to the misdemeanor court on charges of "insulting the Egyptian flag."

A businesswoman and hotel owner in Mohandessin filed a report against the dancer for wearing a costume fashioned from the Egyptian flag during a performance in Ain Sokhna.

Earlier in March, police arrested Safinaz for questioning over the incident. She was released the same day after paying LE20,000 ($2,620) bail.

A law passed in June 2014 imposed jail terms and fines on anyone who ‘insults’ the flag.

Insults 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 slogans, designs or pictures to the flag.

If convicted, Safinaz faces a jail term of up to a year and a fine of up to LE30,000 ($4,000).  

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

During her appearances on several talk shows, the dancer stressed her love for Egypt.

She is married to an Egyptian and has expressed her wish to spend her entire life in Egypt.

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