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Dancer Safinaz acquitted of charges of insulting Egyptian flag

Her lawyer claims she was reported to authorities in revenge act by former employer

Ahram Online , Monday 28 Sep 2015
Circulated photo on Social Media Networks shows Armenian belly dancer Safinaz wearing a dancing suit with the Egyptian flag print.

Armenian belly dancer Safinaz has been acquitted of charges of insulting Egypt's national flag, and will not be jailed.

Safinaz had appealed an April court decision that was upheld in July when she was sentenced in absentia to six months in jail for wearing a costume based on the Egyptian flag.

The belly-dancer's lawyer argued the report filed was a malicious act of revenge against Safinaz after she terminated her contract with the hotel she worked at in the Greater Cairo district of Mohandiseen.

A hotel owner in Mohandiseen filed a report against the dancer for wearing the costume during a performance in Ain Sokhna, east of Cairo.

Former interim president Adly Mansour issued a law in June 2014 imposing prison sentences of up to a year, and fines up to LE30,000 ($3800), for insulting the national flag.

Insults include raising, displaying or trading a flag if it is damaged, washed out or not suitable for display in any other way.

The law also prohibits adding slogans, designs or pictures to the flag.

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