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Belly Dancer Jailed For 3 Years For Sexually Suggestive Contents On Social Media

Sama El-Masry Image Instagram

Sama El-Masry was arrested in April during an investigation into videos and photos on social media, including the popular video-sharing platform TikTok, that the public prosecution described as sexually suggestive.

The dancer, 42, denied the accusations, saying the content was stolen and shared from her phone without consent.

However, she has been sentenced to three years in prison and fined 300,000 Egyptian pounds (£15,000) for inciting debauchery and immorality as part of a crackdown on social media posts according to The Daily Mail.

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Cairo’s Misdemeanours Economic Court on Saturday said she had violated family principles and values in Egypt as well as establishing, managing, and using sites and accounts on social media with the aim of committing ‘immorality’.

Several women in Egypt have previously been accused of ‘inciting debauchery’ by challenging the country’s conservative social norms, including actress Rania Youssef after critics took against her choice of dress for the Cairo Film Festival in 2018.

Under Egypt’s cybercrime law issued in 2018, anyone creating and running an account on the internet to commit a crime punished by the law can face imprisonment of 2 years minimum and a fine of up to 300,000 Egyptian pounds.

A group of female TikTok and Instagram influencers and YouTubers have been arrested by the Egyptian authorities in recent months on charges of promoting debauchery and prostitution on social media.

Talaat said those influencers were expected to face the same prison terms as El-Masry as they had committed the same crime.

Entessar el-Saeed, a women rights lawyer and head of the Cairo Center for Development and Law, said women are the only category targeted by the authorities according to this law.

El-Masry has said she would appeal.

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