A court in Egypt has punished a belly dancer for “insulting” the country’s flag, and the woman has been sentenced to prison. According to Fox News, popular Armenian belly dancer Sofinar Gourian was ordered to pay hefty fines in addition to having to serve six months behind bars for wearing a dress that resembled the Egyptian flag. Gourian — who lives in Egypt — says that she was unaware of that particular law, and that she did not intentionally try to insult the country in any way.
The court, however, felt a different way, and the law about “insulting” the flag was broken by their standards.
“Insulting the flag was made illegal by decree under Egyptian President Adly Mansour who ruled for a year after the army overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013.”
The court in Egypt and the belly dancer do not see eye to eye on the case, but Gourian (also known as “Safinaz”) will have to pay the consequences nonetheless. According to NewsMax, a fine of 15,000 pounds (about $2,000) will need to be paid in addition to 10,000 pounds for bail pending an appeal.
— Egypt Independent (@EgyIndependent) April 20, 2015
— Ahram Online (@ahramonline) April 20, 2015
Many countries feel that wearing a flag as a piece of clothing is disrespectful, but that’s not exactly what this woman did. As you can see from the photo above, the belly dancer wore a dress that was red, white, and black, but her dress was not the actual flag or in the actual pattern of the flag. Even still, someone who saw it complained, and the court agreed that the ensemble was against the law.
The belly dancer in Egypt may be facing serious consequences for disgracing the country’s flag, and similar things have happened in other countries all over the world. While not insulting a country’s flag, a Thai man was thrown in jail for a Facebook post that he wrote that insulted the monarchy. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Tiensutham Suttijitseranee, 58, was sentenced to 25 years behind bars last month for his social media messages. The bottom line is that many countries take respect very seriously.
“The court decided that because he posted five pictures with captions last year that the court deemed defamatory, he would be sentenced to a total of 50 years; ten years for each picture posted, reduced by half to 25 years.”
[Photo by Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images]