Rania Yousseff: Egyptian Actress Faces 5 Years in Prison for Revealing Dress

Zaynab of Hot New Hip-Hop is reporting Egyptian actress Rania Yousseff is facing five years in prison for wearing a revealing dress on the red carpet of the closing ceremony of the 40th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival.  Her choice of attire has angered conservatives, who have filed a lawsuit against the actress for “inciting debauchery.” The author writes:

“The first lawsuit alleging obscenity was filed by lawyer Amro Abdelsalam and the second by Samir Sabri, another lawyer known for taking celebrities to court. Sabri claimed Youssef’s appearance ‘did not meet societal values, traditions and morals and therefore undermined the reputation of the festival and the reputation of Egyptian women in particular.’

The entertainer, who was blindsided by the negative response, has apologized for her alleged misstep in a statement.

‘I probably miscalculated when I chose to wear this dress. It was the first time that I wore it and I did not realize it would spark so much anger. I reaffirm my commitment to the values upon which we were raised in Egyptian society.'”

The case is the latest in a series of high-profile prosecutions, including the prosecution of a children’s puppet,  targeting celebrities in Egypt under the authoritarian rule of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. They are often brought by lawyers claiming to police public morals by regulating attire, behavior and even jokes under the guise of protecting a brittle version of Egyptian nationalism.

Yousseff is the Cairo International Film Festival 2013 Best Supporting Actress winner for her performance in Wahed Saheh.

Read more at Hot New Hip-Hop.

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