Egyptian actress Rania Youssef is charged with public obscenity after she attended the closing ceremony of a film festival in Cairo wearing a see-through embroidered gauze dress that revealed her legs through her dress. The actress is now facing trial which is scheduled to begin January 12. A complaint is filed against her to the chief prosecutor by a group of lawyers saying she was not decently dressed.
If convicted, Youssef will have to face up to five years in prison. Well, this is just another blow t the country’s legal system. Since the past few months, the country’s legal system had come under criticism by the United Nations Human Rights Commission and other watch groups for sentences passed in September by an Egyptian court, which had handed out 47 life sentences in a case involving 739 defendants from a 2013 sit-in protest by supporters of an Islamist president ousted by the military. UN Human Rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet said that the defendants were tried en masse and not permitted individual legal representation or to present evidence in their defense. The prosecution, she added, did not provide sufficient evidence to prove individual guilt.
Considering that Egypt is a mostly conservative country with a Muslim majority, it is being believed that their society has not developed much when it comes to equality and freedom of speech. The moment this news broke on the internet, netizens were divided on the matter. While some defended the actress saying she can wear what she wants, others called her out. “This dress and design is called ‘I forgot my trousers while going to be honoured,” wrote one Twitter user. Another Twitter user writing under the name Zakaria MJ frowned at the criticism. “Rania Youssef is looking gorgeous,” he wrote in a message in English. “I don’t get why everybody is mad at her.” Ms Youssef had just finished shooting for the film “Aswar Aaliya” (High Fences), in which she plays the role of a famous artist who is sent to prison.
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