Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel Wahab has been suspended from singing pending investigation for allegedly defaming her country during a concert in Bahrain last week.
The Egyptian Musicians’ Union issued a ban on her performing in any concert from March 21.
A copy of the decision signed by the Egyptian Musicians’ Union president Hani Shaker was circulated on social media websites.
Egyptian lawyer Tariq Mahmoud sent an official notification to the Egyptian Musicians’ Union, demanding the singer be banned for repeatedly defaming her country.
Lawyer Dr Samir Sabri filed an urgent case, accusing her of “insulting Egypt”, “spreading false news” and “inviting suspicious human rights organisations to interfere in Egypt’s affairs”.
The lawyer quoted the singer as saying during a concert in Bahrain last Thursday: “Okay, here I can speak freely, because in Egypt anyone who speaks goes to prison.”
Dr Sabri accused Ms Abdel Wahab of sullying the reputation of her country in the Arab region and the world, inviting hostile watchdogs to interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs and spreading lies.
He urged the Public Prosecutor to use testimony of those who attended the concert in Bahrain and put her on an urgent trial before the criminal court.
Ms Abdel Wahab said she was annoyed over claims that she had made offensive comments about her country, calling on her fans to ignore all allegations.
In a statement after her suspension, she said that she had asked her lawyer to “expose lies and confront those who fish in troubled water so as to become famous by using her name”.