Egypt arrests model who posed at Saqqara necropolis

Jon Sharman
·2-min read
<p>Salma El-Shimy was arrested alongside her photographer, Egyptian media said</p> (Salma el-Shimy/Instagram)

Salma El-Shimy was arrested alongside her photographer, Egyptian media said

(Salma el-Shimy/Instagram)

An Egyptian model has been arrested following a photo-shoot at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, according to reports.

Salma el-Shimy and her photographer were detained by Egypt’s tourism investigation department, the local Al-Akhbar al-Youm newspaper reported, citing security sources.

The probe was sparked by a complaint from a lawyer to the attorney general, the state-affiliated paper reported. The lawyer is said to have accused Ms El-Shimy of disrespecting Egypt’s cultural heritage by posing in a phaoronic-style outfit.

Separately, Al-Ahram newspaper reported that Mostafa El-Waziry, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, had announced the investigation on Monday.

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In the images posted to Instagram, where she has more than 56,000 followers, Ms El-Shimy can be seen wearing a white dress with a belt, necklace and headband in ancient Egyptian style. In some of them she is posing in front of the Pyramid of Djoser, built in the 27th century BC.

Her reported arrest comes amid a crackdown on self-expression in Egypt.

In July a number of women were jailed for two years for posting videos of themselves dancing on TikTok. They were accused of indecency and “violating the values and principles of the Egyptian family”, despite being fully clothed.

And a month earlier Sama el-Masry, a prominent belly-dancer, was jailed for three years on charges she had stirred up “immorality” by posting on TikTok.

In 2018 Egypt adopted a cybercrime law that grants the government full authority to censor the internet and exercise surveillance of communications. The law carries penalties of imprisonment for at least two years and a fine of up to 300,000 Egyptian pounds.

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