An Egyptian pop singer has apparently been sentenced to two years of prison, over her music video which supposedly “incited debauchery”.

The singer Shyma, whose real name is Shaimaa Ahmed, was a pretty obscure figure in Egypt until this controversy, but has now been fined with 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($561) by a court in Cairo, according to local Egyptian media. The court found her guilty of inciting debauchery and publishing an indecent film, which is illegal in Egypt, although it has a vague definition and is used aimlessly. The same punishment was suffered by the director of the video, Mohamed Gamal.


The video for her song “I Have Issues” shows the singer dancing, sometimes in a dress and sometimes in underwear, then her pouring some milk on some bananas before eating them in a classroom of grown men, and licking an apple. While it does make for a very strange video, I think you may find it hard to see much debauchery in it.

The clip however caused an outrage in Egypt for its ‘explicit content’, Marwan Younis, an influential Egyptian blogger and presenter, called his followers to report the singer’s page and successfully had it shut down. Shyma apologized amid the criticism, but was still arrested shortly after the release of the MV. The telegraph reports she appeared in court wearing a niqab which covered her face, and was seen reading the Quran while waiting for her sentence.

This isn’t the first time an artist faces prosecution over ‘sexually explicit content’, as two belly dancers, Shakira and Bardis were arrested and sentenced to six months in prison in 2015 for the same reason, inciting debauchery.

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