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Egyptian Singer Arrested for ‘Inciting Debauchery’ With Provocative Music Video

An Egyptian pop singer was recently arrested for appearing in a “provocative” music video.

Leila Amer is the second singer in December to be thrown into prison for "inciting debauchery" in the conservative country. 

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Amer's music video, titled "Boss Omak" ("Look At Your Mother"), sparked outrage and criticism in Egypt. The music video features a man watching a belly dancer perform and allegedly shows Amer making obscene hand gestures.

According to Ahmed Mahran, the lawyer who filed a complaint against the singer, the video is a "moral disaster" and a "great risk to Egypt." He also said that the song's title clearly rhymes with a sexually explicit Arabic insult.

​If convicted, Amer could face jail for two years.

Last month, Shaima Ahmed, known as Shyma to her fans, was sentenced to one year in prison and fined $565 after she appeared in a video suggestively eating a banana in a classroom while a chalkboard behind her featured the words "Class #69."

"Inciting debauchery" and like charges are far from unknown in Egypt. 

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In November, seven gay men were sentenced to three years in prison for "inciting immortality" for raising the LGBTQ rainbow flag in support of gay Egyptians. The flag was raised at a concert by Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou' Leila, whose lead singer is openly gay.

Homosexuality is taboo in both Muslim and Christian communities in largely-conservative Egypt, and while Egyptian law doesn't overtly prohibit homosexuality, officials often use charges like "immorality," "debauchery" or even "blasphemy" to prosecute people for being gay.

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