An Egyptian court has sentenced a popular Armenian belly dancer to six months in prison for "insulting the Egyptian flag" after she allegedly wore a tight dress in its red, white and black color scheme.

The court in Agouza, west of Cairo, said on Monday that Sofinar Gourian, known popularly as "Safinaz," was fined 15,000 pounds (almost $2,000) and paid another 10,000 pounds bail pending appeal. The case had been initiated by a private complaint.

Insulting the flag was made illegal by decree under Egyptian President Adly Mansour who ruled for a year after the army overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013.

Gourian, who lives in Egypt, had argued that she did not insult the flag intentionally and as a foreigner was less aware of Egyptian laws.