An Egyptian court sentenced two belly dancers to six months in prison Thursday on charges of “inciting debauchery,” in a move to crack down on raunchy videos in the conservative country, according to reports. The women were arrested in July after a lawyer filed a police report accusing them of tarnishing the country’s image.
Suha Mohammed Ali and Dalia Kamal Youssef -- known as the Egyptian Shakira and Bardis -- were found guilty of inciting immorality and debauchery, and promoting nudity in their music videos, Al-Ahram, a local newspaper, reported. However, according to the Associated Press (AP), the videos did not contain nudity.
Shakira's video, titled "Cumin," garnered nearly three million views on YouTube, while Bardis' video, called "Hard to Get," received over two million views, according to AP.
The sentencing reportedly comes days after the Egyptian Syndicate of Musical Professions announced a ban on “revealing outfits” worn by singers performing on stage in the name of “recommitting to Egyptian values and tradition,” according to the syndicate's chief, Ahmed Ramadan.
The syndicate reportedly announced that performers will be banned in Egypt if they are seen in “inappropriate” clothing on stage.
In July, Egyptian performer Salma El-Fouly was arrested and sentenced to six months in jail for dancing seductively and wearing revealing clothing in the “Seib Eidy” (Let Go of My Hand) music video, according to BBC.
In March, one of Egypt’s popular belly dancers, Safinaz, was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for insulting the national flag. She reportedly appeared in a video dancing in a dress designed like the Egyptian flag.