Cracking down

Pop star sentenced to 2 years in prison for ‘inciting debauchery’ with suggestive music video

Shyma in 'I Have Issues'.(YouTube)

A 25-year-old Egyptian singer who appeared wearing her underwear and suggestively ate a banana in a music video will reportedly spend two years in jail after she was convicted for inciting debauchery and producing an indecent film.

“I didn’t imagine all this would happen and that I would be subjected to such a strong attack from everyone,” wrote Shaimaa Ahmed, who is known by the stage name Shyma, on her Facebook page, which has since been deleted. The director of the music video for her song, “I Have Issues,” was also reportedly sentenced to two years in prison. The video was released last month and sparked outrage among conservatives in the country. After a flood of complaints about the video, police arrested Shyma on November 18. According to Reuters, she denied responsibility and said that the video’s director, Mohamed Gamal, included the controversial scenes in the final cut without her approval. The video racked up more than a million views within just a few days of its release.

The news of Shyma’s imprisonment comes less than a month after Egyptian pop singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab was charged with incitement and harming the public interest for joking with a fan about her hit song, “Have You Ever Drunk From the Nile?” In a clip recorded at a concert, she warned the fan that actually drinking from the Nile River could lead to schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection that has plagued Egypt for thousands of years. Abdel-Wahab, who could face up to three years in prison for her alleged crime, was banned from performing concerts in the country for two months by the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate on Monday. Just last year, three female dancers were also sentenced to six months in prison after they were found guilty of inciting debauchery in music videos.

Cairo, Egypt’s capital, was recently named the most dangerous city in the world to be a woman by a report from the Thomas Reuters foundation. A prominent Egyptian lawyer who declared on TV that men have a “national duty” to rape women who wear ripped jeans, was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this month.

Watch Shyma’s music video for “I Have Issues” below.

Read the full story at BBC News.

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