Actress and dancer Salma al-Foly and director Wael al-Sedeki were sentenced on Sunday to one year in prison with hard labor on charges of “inciting immorality” and “propagating immoral acts in society,” the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported.
Foly was arrested in May shortly after a video clip of her, titled “Sib Eddi” (Let go of my hand), went viral. The video, posted on YouTube, features Foly in a revealing black dress dancing seductively with Sedeki.
After the release of the clip, Sedeki wrote on his Facebook account that he made the clip to make a point, that “cheap art sells,” after he failed to launch his career as a filmmaker with several more substantial productions.
Foly, who was detained pending trial, will now start serving her sentence, while Sedeki is in Tunisia. On the eve of the verdict, he wrote on his Facebook account that he would return to Egypt on July 2 regardless of the verdict.
He expressed his surprise at being prosecuted for a video clip that was posted only online and was listed for over 18 year olds. He made reference to more famous artists who have produced sexual content and gotten away with it, including Lebanese singer Haifa Wahbe and Egyptian producer Mohamed al-Sobky, speculating that their fame protected them.
The penal code mandates sentences from fines to imprisonment for those who violate or offend “public morals.” There have been several cases in the last few months in which individuals were targeted for producing “lewd” content, including renowned Armenian Dancer Safinaz, who was sentenced to six months in prison and a LE15,000 fine for wearing a dance outfit in the colors of the Egyptian flag.