Egypt: Film producer sentenced to jail and fined for “indecency”
On 11 January 2016 the Dokki Misdemeanors court in Giza ruled against film producer Rana Al Subki for promoting and releasing “racy” images in one of her recent films, sentencing her to one year in prison and fined 10,000 Egyptian pounds (about USD 1,275), reported Al Rai Press.
Attorney Samir Sabri filed a claim against the producer accusing her and her father, controversial producer Mohammed Al Subki, for including “indecent” shots and scenes in their film ‘Regata’, reported Al Rai Press.
The claim against the producers and the movie was filed a year ago in January 2015 with a case hearing set for October 2015, which was continually postponed until January 2016, reported Al Waled News.
Her father stated that the claim against Rana is malicious and has faith in the Egyptian court’s integrity and will be appealing the verdict, he told online magazine Layalina.
“Some people, like the person who submitted the claim against my daughter, are watching us closely,” he added. “However, we will continue to produce art in our way, especially in such tough times for Egyptian cinema.”
Egypt Today reported that Rana said in a statement that she will never stop producing, adding that she is “very astonished” by the verdict as she obtained all the approvals necessary from the respective government agencies, including the Censorship Authority and the proper artists unions.
UPDATE: Rana was acquitted on 27 April 2016, reported Dotmsr.com. In a statement after the news of the verdict, Rana said she was “confident of the integrity of the Egyptian judiciary”, which she said had already cleared her father of the same charge for the same film.
The case has received many reactions from the public throughout the country. The Egyptian Creativity Front came out in support of Rana, issuing statement by one if its members, producer Mohamed Al Adl, who said that such claims and cases filed against artists and creative people are an “insult” and “direct attack” against the freedom of creativity and expression guaranteed by the Egyptian constitution, reported entertainment news portal Elcinema.com.
Al Adl added that the verdict overlapped with the power of the Censorship Authority which approved the movie to be released in cinemas, especially as this authority is the only entity that licenses and permits artworks; thus no legal liability should fall on producers since it’s the government body itself that approves the artwork.
The court established its verdict on Article II of the constitution, stating that “the right to create is ensured by the constitution; however, there is a constitutional restriction for this creativity as well since Islam is the religion of the country and Sharia is the source of legislation. Creativity has to be restricted according to Sharia to educate our children in a proper way”.
The movie was released in cinemas on 21 January 2015.The court also levied a 5,000 Egyptian pound (about USD 630) bail as Rana works on her appeal.
Photo above of Rana Al Subki and YouTube screenshot from the movie trailer of ‘Regatta’
» Dotmsr.com – 27 April 2016:
Rana Sobki’s first comments after her acquittal
» Egypt Today – 19 January 2016:
Creative agencies and human rights in solidarity with Rana Sobki
» Elcinema.com – 19 January 2016:
Creativity Front declares its solidarity with Rana Sobki after imprisonment ruling
» Newsawy.com – 19 January 2016:
Judgment on Rana Al Subki for one year imprisonment
» Al Waled News – 18 January 2016:
News after the ruling on Rana Subki
» Layalina.com – 12 January 2016:
Video caused imprisonment of Mohammed Subki daughter on the issue of “indecency” and his reaction after the verdict
» Al Rai Press – 12 January 2016:
Verdict to imprison daughter of Mohammed Subki
» Shaidd.com – 15 January 2015:
Charges for new film “Regatta” prior to submission of product