Egyptian Actress to Face Obscenity Charges for Transparent Dress

Rania Youseff is due in court in early January.

Egyptian actress
Egyptian actress Rania Youssef is to face trial in January 2019 for appearing at the closing ceremony of the Cairo International Film Festival wearing a revealing black lacy dress. (Suhail SALEH / AFP) (Photo credit should read SUHAIL SALEH/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

Egyptian actress Rania Youssef is facing obscenity charges over a revealing dress she recently wore on a red carpet — despite her pleas that any offense was completely unintentional.

Youssef wrote on Facebook over the weekend that she may have misjudged how people would react to the dress, which featured transparent fabric over the length of her legs.

“I want to repeat my commitment to the values and ethics we have been raised by in Egyptian society,” Youssef wrote about the dress she chose to wear to the closing ceremonies of the Cairo International Film Festival.

A group of lawyers spotted the widely circulated images of Youssef and her dress after the festival and quickly banned together to file a complaint to the chief prosecutor.

Youssef is now due in court to face the charge on Jan. 12, Yahoo reported.

Youssef’s legal troubles has sparked international outrage, but the Egyptian Actors Guild appears to be on the side of the religiously conservative lawyers. The group announced in a statement that it will conduct its own investigation into the “inappropriate” attire.

“Although we absolutely believe in the personal freedom of artists, we appeal to everyone to shoulder their responsibilities toward the fans who appreciate their art and view them as role models,” said the weekend statement. “That should compel them to exercise a minimum level of commitment to society’s public values.”

The charge of “inciting debauchery” could land Youssef in jail for up to five years if she is convicted.

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