- Belly dancer Sofinar Grigoryan could face three years in prison or deportation
- Officials furious after videos of her dancing with bikini-clad women were shared
- Armenian dancer could now be deported from Egypt for ‘inciting debauchery’
An Armenian belly dancer has been accused of ‘inciting debauchery’ in Egypt after videos of her dancing with bikini-clad women were shared online.
Sofinar Grigoryan, known as Safinaz, could face three years in prison or even deportation for the footage.
The video was taken during a performance that reportedly took place in a resort located in Egypt’s North Coast last month.
While on stage, Sofinar asked women in the audience to join her and one danced with her, before another followed.
The footage of them dancing has angered many in Egypt, who have deemed it ‘explicit’ and ‘unacceptable.’
Egypt’s Censor Board took action against Sofinar this week, accusing her of ‘inciting debauchery.’
If she is convicted of the charge, the belly dancer could face up to three years in jail and face deportation from the country.
According to Sayidaty Magazine, she will not be able to perform in Egypt while her trial is ongoing.
The Musicians’ Syndicate also issued a statement against Sofinar at the time of the performance and said that action would be taken against her.
However, the syndicate’s board is ‘busy holding internal elections’, which means that no action has yet been taken.
Speaking to Al Watan News, the bellydancer responded to the accusations: ‘I always adhere to rules concerning wearing appropriate belly dancing outfits. I was never on stage naked.’
She added that she could not be held responsible for the actions of two women who joined her on stage.
Sofinar said: ‘They both performed on stage half an hour before I went on. They joined me in on the show and it wasn’t my place to stop them from doing that.
‘This isn’t the first time women dance on stage like this [wearing swimsuits], especially at events held in beach resorts.’
In 2015, Sofinar was given a six month prison sentence and 15,000 Egyptian pound fine ($907) for wearing an outfit resembling the Egyptian flag during the performance.
She was released on bail for being a foreigner unaware of the new law.