Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab has been sentenced to six months in jail in absentia for ‘sullying' the reputation of her country.
A South Cairo judge convicted her of making “offensive comments” in August 2016 claiming that the Nile water is infected with Bilharzia parasite.
The court ordered the pop singer to pay EGP 5,000 bail pending the appeal procedure and fined her EGP10,000.
Sherine, a singer, actress, TV host and the Voice judge on MBC channel, was referred to the court about three months ago, charged with spreading false news.
In August 2016, a fan asked the 37-year-old Sherine during a concert in Lebanon to perform her popular 2007 song 'Mashrebtesh Men Nilha' (Have you not drunk from its Nile?), which extols Egypt's beauty.
The singer jokingly responded “You will get Bilharzia if you do," adding that fan would be better off drinking the mineral water brand Evian said Ahramonline.
A video of the incident surfaced online and went viral on social media networks in Egypt, sparking controversy and anger from some fans.
The prominent singer, known also for several patriotic sings, was banned by the country's musicians syndicate from singing in Egypt.
The syndicate’s spokesman Tarak Mortadha said that the trade union “respects the court verdict”, adding that “Sherine would surely commission her lawyer to appeal the ruling”.
The singer who faced a public backlash in her native country, apologized on her Facebook account, saying that the comment was “naive and unintentional”.
“My beloved Egypt and Egyptians, I am sorry with all my heart for any pain or offence I’ve caused any of you, and God knows how much I love this country and am dedicated to it… I promise to be more wary in the future of any naive mistakes that could put me in such a regretful position,” she said, according to Ahramonline.