Human rights groups have criticized a court ruling that sentenced two singers to a year in prison after they lip-synched in a clip next to a Brazilian belly dancer
Two pop stars have been jailed for making a viral video alongside a Brazilian belly dancer showing off her raunchy moves.
Human rights groups slammed a court in Egypt after singers Hamo Beeka and Omar Kamal were sentenced to a year in prison and fined 10,000 Egyptian pounds (£435).
In the YouTube clip, the pair appear in lip-sync while belly dancer Lordiana struts her stuff to the music.
An Alexandria court found her guilty of “violating family values” and profiting from the video.
The court also ruled that Beeka and Kamal’s prison sentences can be suspended if they pay double their assessed fines.
The ruling has been linked to a broader crackdown on artistic expression in Egypt, with Human Rights Watch accusing the country of controlling social media with its “abused and ill-defined family values.”
Beeka and Kamal are not the first to flout the strict articles of Egypt’s cybercrime law, with several young women facing heavy fines and up to five years in prison.
Human Rights Watch has called for the repeal of cybercrime articles of the law so that freedom of expression is no longer criminalized in Egypt.
Since President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi took office, the state-run syndicate of musicians has increasingly imposed moral standards on artists.
For example, Kamal was found to have violated these standards by using words like “alcohol” and “hashish.”
Mahraganat, a new and popular electronic music genre championed by the likes of Beeka and Kamal, was one of the main targets of the raid, according to the BBC.
Popular with less affluent people in Egypt, the upbeat genre became popular internationally after being featured in the new Marvel series Moon Knight.
The Musicians’ Syndicate has banned several Mahraganat artists from performing publicly, including blacklisted Kamal.
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