Egyptian singer banned after claiming lack of free speech

In this Dec. 31, 2018 photo, Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab performs during New Years' Eve, in Cairo, Egypt. Abdel-Wahab has been banned from performing in her home country after suggesting that it does not respect free speech. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Abdel Nasser)

An Egyptian singer has been banned from performing in her home country after suggesting that it does not respect free speech

CAIRO — An Egyptian singer has been banned from performing in her home country after suggesting that it does not respect free speech.

A video clip circulated online shows Sherine Abdel-Wahab, during a performance in Bahrain, saying: "Here I can say whatever I want. In Egypt, anyone who talks gets imprisoned."

Egypt's Musicians Union responded late Friday by barring the singer, popularly known by her first name, from performing. It also summoned her for questioning.

Samir Sabry, a pro-government lawyer with a reputation for moral vigilantism and suing celebrities, filed a complaint against the singer accusing her of "insulting Egypt and inviting suspicious rights groups to interfere in Egypt's affairs."

Last year, Sherine was sentenced to six months in prison over a similar clip from a concert in which she joked that the Nile is polluted. The sentence was suspended upon appeal. She apologized for the remark, calling it a "bad joke."

The singer, who hosts the Arabic version of "The Voice," apologized again after the latest remarks in a TV interview aired late Friday, saying she was joking.

"I am very tired. I made a mistake. I am sorry. I appeal the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, who is our father. I feel that I was persecuted. I did nothing. I love Egypt," she said.

Egyptian authorities have waged an unprecedented crackdown on dissent since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi led the military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013. The local media is dominated by pro-government outlets that attack anyone seen as criticizing the country or its leaders, and several people have been jailed or fined for violating vaguely written laws outlawing such criticism.

Thousands of people have been jailed or forced to leave the country since el-Sissi came to power, mainly Islamists but also a large number of secular activists, politicians and artists.

Peaple also read these

Egypt's president: 'Strong will' to find...

Aug 29, 2018

An Egyptian spokesman says President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has told a visiting Italian official...

Isolated and unseen, Yemenis eat leaves to stave...

Sep 14, 2018

Yemenis in an isolated pocket in the north have been reduced to eating boiled leaves from a local...

El-Sissi denies fat-shaming Egyptians after...

Dec 26, 2018

Egypt's president is denying that he fat-shamed his own people after his recent calls for Egyptians...

Egypt says archaeologists find ancient tombs in...

Jan 23, 2019

Egypt says archaeologists have uncovered ancient tombs dating back to the Second Intermediate...

The Latest: UN Libya condemns increase in heavy...

Apr 16, 2019

U.N. political mission in Libya condemns increased use of heavy weapons and indiscriminate shelling...

Latest news

About Us

Delivering news from all over the globe, StarJournal keeps you abreast with the greatest minds in science, be it researchers, theorists or even popularizers.

Subscribe Now!