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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Court sentences Sherine to six months over “Bilharzia” comment

Egyptian pop singer Sherine Abdel Wahab made top headlines on Egypt in the foreign press this morning after a court sentenced her to six months in prison on charges of spreading false news. Abdel Wahab’s joke last year about falling ill from drinking Nile water had been deemed offensive, leading to a lawsuit against her. AFP, Xinhua, and BBC all have the story.

In related news, singer Leila Amer was sentenced to a two-year prison term yesterday for “inciting debauchery” with a racy music video.

A “purge” of potential rivals ahead of the presidential elections has watchers “puzzled,” Jacob Wirtschafter and Mina Nader write for The Washington Times. Wirtschafter and Nader say Egypt is “sidelining opponents and fueling a boycott of the vote while polls say [President Abdel Fattah El Sisi] has deep popular support and would win a free and fair election in a walk… Large blocs of voters remain devoted to the president, motivated more by the government’s promises of stability and security over the prospect of political freedoms and civil liberties.”

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