Cairo: Egypt’s music union has banned celebrated singer Sherine after she had allegedly defamed the country in remarks at a recent concert in Bahrain.
The Musicians’ Syndicate, which licences singers to perform in Egypt, said it had suspended the 38-year-old Egyptian performer starting from Thursday pending investigations with her over purported defamation.
“The syndicate’s board decided to suspend Sherine and refer her to questioning scheduled for next Wednesday,” the union’s media advisor Tarek Mortada said on Friday.
“The measure is due to her alleged statements, which harm national security,” he added.
Earlier this week, lawyer Samir Sabry said he had filed a legal complaint against Sherine, accusing her of insulting Egypt, spreading false news and inciting foreign countries against her homeland. The lawyer, known for moral vigilantism, claimed that Sherine said at a concert in Bahrain: “I can speak as I want now because anyone speaking out in Egypt goes to jail.” If convicted, the singer could face up to 10 years in prison, according to Sabry.
Sherine denied the allegations. “There are some people, who are keen to pick faults with me and want to harm my image,”she said in a press statement. “I refuse that anyone throws doubt on my patriotism and my love for Egypt.”
This is not the first time, Sherine, noted for public gaffes, faces legal trouble.
In February 2018, a misdemeanor court sentenced the singer to six months in prison and ordered her to pay 5,000 Egyptian pounds (Dh 1,066) in bail in order to stay out of prison pending an appeal against the verdict.
The sentence was revoked on appeal.
Earlier this year, she sparked a new uproar after she had allegedly said at a Cairo concert that Egypt is not worthy of her.
The purported remark brought her under scathing criticism on popular TV shows and the social media.