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Egyptian actress faces five-year prison term for wearing a 'sexy' dress

03 December 2018 - 09:21 By Ntokozo Miya
Egypt, home of the pyramids, is a conservative nation with strict dress-code policies. Next year, its courts will hear the case of an actress who wore a revealing dress to a film festival.
Egypt, home of the pyramids, is a conservative nation with strict dress-code policies. Next year, its courts will hear the case of an actress who wore a revealing dress to a film festival.
Image: AFP Relaxnews ©Asier Villafranca

An Egyptian actress who wore a sexy dress faces five years in jail if convicted of public obscenity when she goes on trial in January.

According to New York Post, a group of lawyers in the north African country complained to the chief prosecutor about actress Rania Youssef’s dress at this year’s Cairo International Film Festival. 

The actress wore a black see-through gown that showed her legs. 

The complaint led to criminal charges against the actress and her trial date is set for January 12.

The majority of the population in Egypt is Muslim and the country is hugely conservative. Wearing revealing attire is not only frowned upon, but punishable by law.

The Daily Mail reported that Youssef could spend five years in prison if the court rules against her.

On Saturday, the actress posted her reaction to the backlash on social media. Her statement read like an apology. 

She said the evening gown, made of embroidered gauze, was a creation by fashion designers who drew their inspiration from international film festivals.

“I want to repeat my commitment to the values and ethics we have been raised in in Egyptian society,” said Youssef.

Egyptian entertainers often have run-ins with law enforcement over behaviour that authorities deem unsavoury.

In February, CTV News ran a story about singers who were arrested over conduct deemed unbecoming of a citizen of the country.

Laila Amer was handed a two-year sentence for a sexually charged music video, while Sherine Abdel-Wahab received six months for telling a joke about the Nile River.

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