Egyptian singer jailed over video inciting debauchery

Shyma Ahmed. (Courtesy photo)
Updated 13 December 2017
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Egyptian singer jailed over video inciting debauchery

CAIRO, Egypt: A court in Cairo on Tuesday sentenced an Egyptian pop singer to two years in prison for “inciting debauchery” over a racy music video clip, a judicial source said.
Shyma, a little-known 21-year-old singer, was also fined 10,000 pounds ($560).
The director of the clip, Mohamed Gamal, received the same sentence. Both can appeal the ruling.
Shyma was arrested on November 18, police said, following complaints about the video for her song “I Have Issues.”
In the video, she appears in a mock classroom licking an apple and appearing to mimic fellatio on a banana in front of a chalkboard scrawled with “Class #69.”
“Singer Shyma presents a lesson in depravity to youths,” said the Youm 7 newspaper in an article after the video was released.
In a Facebook post at the time, Shyma apologized for the video and said she had not anticipated the backlash.
“I didn’t imagine all this would happen and that I would be subjected to such a strong attack from everyone, as a young singer... who has dreamt from a young age of being a singer,” she wrote.
The authorities have cracked down on some artists in Egypt using wide-ranging morality laws.
In 2015, a court jailed a female dancer to a year in prison for “inciting debauchery” in a raunchy music video for a song called “Let Go of My Hand.”


Amnesty says Daesh group decimated rural Iraq

Updated 5 min 4 sec ago
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Amnesty says Daesh group decimated rural Iraq

  • Amnesty reported Daesh fighters burnt or chopped down orchards, sabotaged wells and stole or destroyed vital farming equipment
  • The extremists seized control of much of northern Iraq in the summer of 2014

BAGHDAD: The Daesh group’s deliberate destruction of agriculture in northern Iraq has hindered the return of hundreds of thousands of residents, Amnesty International said in a report released Thursday.
The New York-based rights group said Daesh fighters burnt or chopped down orchards and sabotaged wells by filling them with rubble, oil or other materials. The militants also stole or destroyed pumps, cables, generators, transformers and vital electricity lines.
Amnesty called on the Iraqi government to repair rural infrastructure and compensate the displaced so they can return to their homes.
Daesh seized control of much of northern Iraq in the summer of 2014. US-backed Iraqi forces gradually drove the militants from all the territory under their control, declaring victory a year ago after a costly campaign that destroyed entire neighborhoods and towns.
“The damage to Iraq’s countryside is as far-reaching as the urban destruction, but the consequences of the conflict on Iraq’s rural residents are being largely forgotten,” said Richard Pearshouse, senior crisis adviser at Amnesty.
He said the report focuses on the “deliberate, wanton destruction” around the area of Sinjar, where the extremists massacred and enslaved thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority. About half of Sinjar’s residents have returned, with many others saying they have nothing to go back to.
Beyond Sinjar, Amnesty’s report gave sobering figures for all of Iraq.
“The conflict against IS eviscerated Iraq’s agricultural production, now an estimated 40 percent lower than 2014 levels,” it said. “Before IS, around two-thirds of Iraq’s farmers had access to irrigation — only three years later, this had fallen to 20 percent. Around 75 percent of livestock was lost, spiking to 95 percent in some areas.”
Syrian and Iraqi forces have gradually driven Daesh out of nearly all the territory it once held. But the group still maintains a presence in the Syrian desert and remote areas along the border. Many have warned it could stage a comeback if economic grievances are not addressed.
“Unless there is urgent government assistance, the long-term damage inflicted on Iraq’s rural environment will reverberate for years to come,” Pearshouse said. “When IS tore through Iraq in 2014, it thrived off rural poverty and resentments, so Iraq’s government should be concerned that something similar could happen again.”