Jail
Jail

A Senegalese court handed suspended jail terms to a television producer and five actors on Friday over racy trailers that religious groups decried as "pornographic".

Released in August, one trailer for the series named "Cirque Noir" featured a naked woman as well as a couple under a sheet who appeared to be having sex.

But the trailer sparked outrage among religious conservatives in Senegal, a West African nation where 95-percent of the population is Muslim.

Islamic NGO Jamra told AFP the trailer was "pornographic". It also complained that a separate Cirque Noir trailer contained "obscene language".

Religious groups contacted the police, after the trailers were released, who arrested six people in mid-August on charges of "disseminating images contrary to public decency".

A judge in the capital Dakar upheld the charges on Friday, handing the producer a two-year suspended sentence.

Five actors who appeared in the trailers each received a six-month suspended sentence.

However, the affair has provoked criticism in Senegalese media, where Jamra has come under particular scrutiny.

The prominent NGO is well known in Senegal for aggressively defending conservative values and it often appeals to the broadcasting regulator over the content it deems inappropriate.

One recent opinion article accused Jamra of being a "tropical Torquemada," a reference to the infamous 15th-century Spanish inquisitor.

The article warned that government authorities should not turn a blind eye to censorship.

An official at Senegal's broadcasting regulator, who requested anonymity, said that Cirque Noir would not be broadcast.

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