CAIRO: An Egyptian court sentenced pop star Sherine to six months in prison on Tuesday for suggesting drinking from the Nile River leads to illness, although she will remain free pending an appeal.
Sherine Abdel Wahab, known simply as Sherine, had apologized after being caught on tape joking with concert goers that Nile water could give them parasites.
Moqattam Misdemeanor Court sentenced the pop star to the prison term, as well as fining her 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($566) as a civil compensation, with a bail of 5,000 pounds, on charges of insulting Egypt.
The singer did not attend Tuesday’s court session.
The Syndicate of Musical Professions had previously suspended the singer from singing and performing in Egypt for two months, until January 14, 2018. Judicial officials said she would remain free on bail pending an appeal.
Sherine is one of the region’s best known singers. She is also an actor and hosted the Arabic version of singing contest The Voice.
In the video recording of the concert, Sherine is asked by a fan to sing her tune “Have You Ever Drunk From the Nile.”
She responds that drinking from the river could cause “bilharzia,” a name for the parasitic disease schistosomiasis which was once widespread in Egypt.
“Drink Evian instead,” she joked.She later apologized in a Facebook posting.