Egypt upholds prison sentence against Russian belly dancer Johara

The Giza Misdemeanor Appellate Court on Saturday upheld an earlier ruling from the Giza Misdemeanors Court sentencing Russian belly dancer Ekaterina Andreeva, known by her stage name Johara, to one year in prison over charges of inciting debauchery.

Egyptian police arrested Andreeva, 32, in February 2018 , after a video of her dancing went viral on Facebook. She was investigated for inciting debauchery, semi-naked dancing and working as a dancer without obtaining a permit from the Manpower Ministry

That same month, she was referred to the Giza Prosecution Office, which released her on a bail of LE5,000 pending investigations.

The police report said that Andreeva was dancing in a nightclub on a Nile boat in Giza without wearing shorts under her dance suit in accordance with the law. She defended her dress, saying it was “identical to the costume my counterparts wear in Egypt.”

Egyptian authorities had retreated in February 2018 from their decision to deport Andreeva, whom they considered harmful to public security due to her “provocative” dancing.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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