Egypt singer held for ‘inciting debauchery’ in music video

Laila Amer appears in the video for Bos Omak (Look At Your Mother)


“An Egyptian judge has extended the detention of a female singer charged with “inciting debauchery” after her music video sparked controversy.

Laila Amer was arrested on Tuesday after a lawyer filed a complaint.

The video for Bos Omak (Look At Your Mother) – an apparent pun on an Arabic profanity – shows Amer dancing and making suggestive gestures.

Amer, who denies any wrongdoing, is the third female singer to face legal action in Egypt since November.

Shaimaa Ahmed was sentenced to two years in prison – reduced to one year on appeal on Monday – for inciting debauchery and publishing an indecent film.

She had appeared in a video in her underwear while suggestively eating a banana.

Sherine Abdel Wahab was charged with “spreading provocative publicity” because she suggested that drinking from the River Nile could make someone ill.

The video featuring Amer, who is less well known than Ahmed and Abdel Wahab, appeared online at the end of last month.

Ahmed Mahran, the lawyer who filed the complaint to the state prosecutor, warned that the video was a “great risk” to Egypt and represented “an attack on society”.

The head of the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate, Hany Shaker, called the video “an insult to the Egyptian people” and said he had cancelled Amer’s membership.

On Thursday morning, Amer appeared before a judge in Giza who ordered that she should continue to be remanded in custody, the Youm7 news website reports.

It quoted the singer as telling the judge that there were no unacceptable words or phrases in the song; only those typically spoken among Egyptians. “Egyptians say even more than that,” she added.

Amer also said she had not written the lyrics and was just the performer.”

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