Egyptian actress could face 5 years in prison for wearing sheer gown

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CAIRO — Egyptian actress Rania Youssef could face up to five years in prison for daring to wear a sheer gown on the red carpet.

Youssef was attending the Cairo International Film Festival last week and wore a black bodysuit covered with a sheer, beaded gown that shows her legs. She was charged with public obscenity or "incitement to debauchery"  by three lawyers known for filing moral vigilance lawsuits, according to The New York Times.

"I probably miscalculated when I chose to wear this dress . . . I reaffirm my commitment to the values upon which we were raised in Egyptian society," Youssef wrote on Instagram as an apology.

Under the authoritarian rule of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, lawyers have been prosecuting speech and expression as issues of public morals by monitoring attire, behavior and jokes. The New York Times reported that some of these prosecutions have ultimately failed, including a pop singer who was acquitted after being charged for joking about the water quality of the Nile, but some charges have stuck to public figures and imprisoned them.

A trial has been scheduled for Youssef in January.

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