Nov 24, 2017 Last Updated 7:59 AM, Nov 24, 2017


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An Egyptian singer has reportedly been detained for a week after she appeared in a music video in her underwear while suggestively eating a banana.

Shaimaa Ahmed, a 25-year-old known professionally as Shyma, was arrested by Egyptian police on Saturday on suspicion of "inciting debauchery".

It came after the racy video for her song, I Have Issues, sparked outrage in the socially conservative country.

She has apologised to people who took the video "in an inappropriate way".

"I didn't imagine all this would happen and that I would be subjected to such a strong attack from everyone," she wrote on her now-deleted Facebook page.

In the video, the singer appears in a classroom with several young men.

Standing in front of a blackboard bearing the phrase "Class #69", she proceeds to eat an apple, banana and some crisps in a sexually suggestive manner.

The scene is interspersed with pictures of her wearing lingerie.

"Shyma presents a lesson in depravity to youths," wrote the Youm al-Sabaa newspaper after the video was released.

On Monday, two days after her arrest, the public prosecutor's office ordered that Shyma's detention be extended for a week, Youm al-Sabaa reported. Arrest warrants were also issued for the directors of the video, it said.

Last year, Egyptian courts sentenced three female dancers to six months each in prison after convicting them of inciting debauchery in music videos.

Another singer is meanwhile facing trial for "spreading provocative publicity" because she suggested that drinking from the River Nile could make someone ill.

A lawsuit was filed after video emerged showing Sherine Abdel Wahab being asked at a concert last year to sing Mashrebtesh Men Nilha (Have You Drunk From The Nile?). She responded by saying "drinking from the Nile will get me schistosomiasis" - a disease commonly known as bilharzia.

Egypt, who had already qualified for the World Cup, drew in Ghana in the last game of Group E in Cape Coast on Sunday.

Ghana, who had played at the past three World Cup finals, finished a disappointing third in the standings behind Egypt and Uganda.

Egypt's Mahmoud Abdelrazek - also known as Shikabala - opened the scoring with a left-footed strike in the 62nd minute, to mark his long awaited return to the Pharaohs squad and lay down a marker for the finals.

But the Black Stars' Netherlands-born striker Edwin Gyasi equalised just two minutes later with a deflected effort from outside the area.

It was a first international goal and only a second cap for the 26-year-old Gyasi, who plays his club football in Norway.

Egypt secured qualification for next year's tournament in Russia when they beat Congo in Alexandria last month.

It will be their first World Cup since the 1990 finals in Italy.

Earlier in Brazzaville, Uganda secured second place in the group with a 1-1 draw against Congo.

Marvin Baudry put the hosts ahead after 10 minutes, but the Cranes hit back just one minute later through Milton Karisa to earn a point.

That draw left them four points behind Egypt in the final Group E standings.

Egypt's highest appeals court has upheld a five-year prison sentence for the blogger and pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, his family says.

They said the Court of Cassation had confirmed a verdict that the 35 year old broke a 2013 law banning protests and endangered the public interest.

Fellow activists condemned the ruling on social media.

Abdel Fattah has about 18 months left of his sentence, but is also on trial for allegedly insulting the judiciary.

He and at least 23 other defendants, including politicians Amr Hamzawy and Essam Sultan, face up to four years in prison if they are found guilty. A verdict is expected in December.

Abdel Fattah rose to prominence during the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak.

He subsequently campaigned against the military council that ruled Egypt for 17 months after Mr Mubarak's resignation and the ousting of his successor, Mohammed Morsi.

After Morsi was overthrown by the military in 2013, Abdel Fattah opposed the sweeping crackdown on dissent launched by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

Since then, the authorities have arrested or charged at least 60,000 people, forcibly disappeared hundreds for months at a time, handed down preliminary death sentences to hundreds more, and sent 15,000 civilians to military courts, according to Human Rights Watch.

Abel Fattah was among 25 people arrested on a range of charges stemming from their involvement in a peaceful protest in November 2013 outside the Shura Council building in Cairo by the group No to Military Trials for Civilians.

Police violently dispersed the demonstration, which took place two days after the government issued a law banning any gatherings of more than 10 people that were not approved by the interior ministry.

In June 2014, a court sentenced Abdel Fattah and his co-defendants in absentia to 15 years in prison and fined 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($5,665; £4,325).

Abdel Fattah's sentence was reduced to five years after a retrial that ended in February 2015. The others, except for one man also found guilty of carrying a knife, were handed three-year terms.

President Sisi pardoned 18 of the protesters that October, but Abdel Fattah was not among them.

On Wednesday, Abdel Fattah's aunt, the novelist Ahdaf Souief, said the Court of Cassation had "changed the terminology" of his sentence but upheld the term.

The court had also confirmed that he would face five years subject to probation measures that Amnesty International said would amount to a deprivation of liberty, she added.

"I'm sorry. Our hearts are with everyone who's been following us and rooting for Alaa and justice. We stay together. #freeAlaa," Ms Souief wrote on Twitter.

Human rights lawyer Mokhtar Mounir said: "The Court of Cassation is destroying the altar of justice and turning it into an arena for political revenge against opponents of the regime."

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) says it has yet to receive any official letter confirming Egypt's intended withdrawal from the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN).

Earlier this week, Egyptian officials said they were pulling out of the tournament for African players based in their domestic leagues because of a timing clash.

"We sent an official reply to Caf that we will not be able to play CHAN," said Egypt FA (EFA) executive director Tharwat Sweilam.

Caf says it has not received any correspondence from the EFA ahead of January's finals.

"Nothing official (has been) received from the EFA in that regard," a Caf spokeperson told BBC Sport on Tuesday.

At a meeting in Lagos earlier this month, the African body's Emergency Committee re-installed Egypt into the CHAN after Morocco had been designated as the tournament's new hosts.

The Moroccans, who replaced Kenya following preparation delays in the East African nation, had knocked the Egyptians out of qualifying in August.

However, Sweilam indicated that the EFA is not prepared to halt the Egyptian league - which is one of Africa's strongest - for the CHAN.

"We cannot stop the Premier League, especially as the tournament is being played outside the Fifa international calendar," he explained.

Egypt has never played in the 16-team CHAN, whose fifth edition is scheduled to take place in four Moroccan cities - Agadir, Casablanca, Marrakech and Tangier - from 12 January to 4 February 2018.

By contrast, Egypt's full international side is the continent's most successful - having won a record seven Africa Cup of Nations titles.

Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has given a bonus of $US85,000 to each of the players who clinched a place at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

A 2-1 win over Congo Brazzaville saw them qualify for the global showpiece for the first time since 1990.

The president announced the reward on Monday as he met the Argentine coach Hector Cuper and the players.

"Maybe we don't play beautiful football but we are at the World cup and that's the most important thing," Cuper said.

Al-Sisi had special praise for match-winner Mohamed Salah, who scored a penalty in injury time to secure the qualification.

"I am proud of all the players but especially of Mo Salah who was brave enough to take the crucial penalty," the president said.

"Also thank you to coach Cuper who has made our dreams come true."

Liverpool forward Salah was already looking ahead to Russia.

"We are determined to make the country and continent proud in Russia," Salah said.

"I am very happy to lead Egypt to a World Cup after 28 years and to make a 100 million proud of us."

The Pharaohs have won a record seven Africa Cup of Nations titles but have only been to the World Cup twice in 1934 and 1990 and are yet to win a game at the finals.


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