Egypt bans singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab banned for saying country lacks free speech

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An Egyptian singer has been banned from performing in her dwelling nation after suggesting that it doesn’t respect free speech.

A video clip circulated on-line reveals Sherine Abdel-Wahab, throughout a efficiency in Bahrain, saying: “Right here I can say no matter I need. In Egypt, anybody who talks will get imprisoned.”

Egypt’s Musicians Union responded late Friday by barring the singer, popularly recognized by her first identify, from performing. It additionally summoned her for questioning.

EGYPTIAN SINGER AND ‘THE VOICE’ STAR SHERINE ABDEL-WAHAB SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS BEHIND BARS FOR JOKING THAT THE NILE RIVER WAS POLLUTED

Samir Sabry, a pro-government lawyer with a popularity for ethical vigilantism and suing celebrities, filed a grievance in opposition to the singer accusing her of “insulting Egypt and welcoming suspicious rights teams to intrude in Egypt’s affairs.”

Final 12 months, Sherine was sentenced to 6 months in jail over an identical clip from a live performance through which she joked that the Nile is polluted. The sentence was suspended upon enchantment. She apologized for the comment, calling it a “unhealthy joke.”

The singer, who hosts the Arabic model of “The Voice,” apologized once more after the newest remarks in a TV interview aired late Friday, saying she was joking.

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“I’m very drained. I made a mistake. I’m sorry. I enchantment the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, who’s our father. I really feel that I used to be persecuted. I did nothing. I really like Egypt,” she stated.

Egyptian authorities have waged an unprecedented crackdown on dissent since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi led the army overthrow of an elected however divisive Islamist president in 2013. The native media is dominated by pro-government retailers that assault anybody seen as criticizing the nation or its leaders, and a number of other individuals have been jailed or fined for violating vaguely written legal guidelines outlawing such criticism.

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Hundreds of individuals have been jailed or compelled to depart the nation since el-Sissi got here to energy, primarily Islamists but in addition numerous secular activists, politicians and artists.

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