Cairo: Egyptian prosecutors on Sunday ordered a singer detained for four days pending further questioning for her performance in a video music widely deemed racy in the conservative country.
Shaima Ahmad, whose artistic name is Shymh, was arrested on Saturday in her house in the Cairo quarter of Al Nuzah in response to several legal complaints lodged with the country’s top prosecutor against her video entitled I have Problems.
She is facing charges of inciting debauchery and outraging public morals in the video that was released online last week.
The video has triggered a massive outcry in Egypt with critics saying it is full of sexual innuendos and is morally depraving.
Shymh blamed in investigations director of the video, Mohammad Jamal, for her controversial performance, legal sources said.
“I was a tool in the hands of the director, who guided my movements and requested me to do some displays,” she was quoted as telling investigators.
Prosecutors later ordered the arrest of the director.
In the video, the 21-year-entertainer portrays a teacher at a school for young people.
She is seen in the video shedding parts of her clothes and using fruits during instruction, movements interpreted as aimed at raising sexual desires.
“The content of the video clip is harmful to the Egyptian society,” Jalal Awara, a member of the parliament, said. “There must be a firm stance against promoters of this substandard art,” he added in media remarks.
If convicted, Shymh may face up to three years in prison.
Egypt’s musicians union has banned her from performing at concerts in reaction to the video.
Her detention is the latest in a clampdown on steamy performers in Egypt in recent years.
In September 2015, an Egyptian court sentenced two belly dancers to six months in prison each on charges of inciting debauchery through their performances in a video deemed risque.
Months earlier, a little-known singer was handed down a similar sentence for wearing revealing attires in a separate video.
Conservative Egyptians have often blamed “lewd” online material for encouraging sexual harassment, which is a big problem in the country.