AN ACTRESS who faces a public obscenity trial for wearing a dress that revealed her legs has said she did not mean to cause offence.
Rania Youssef (pictured) is due in an Egyptian court next month and risks up to five years in jail after wearing the dress at the closing ceremony of the Cairo film festival on Thursday.
In a Facebook post, the 45-year-old said she ‘probably miscalculated’ in choosing the dress and had been influenced by fashion experts.
‘It was the first time that I wore it and I did not realise it would spark so much anger,’ she added. ‘I reaffirm my commitment to the values upon which we were raised in Egyptian society.’
The charges were brought after lawyers Amro Abdelsalam and Samir Sabri, who are known for taking celebrities to court, complained to the chief prosecutor. Mr Sabri said Ms 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’.
It is the latest instance of secular authorities siding with religious conservatives in Muslim-majority Egypt, where the military overthrew an Islamist president in 2013. Last year, singer Shaimaa Ahmed was jailed after appearing in a video in her underwear while suggestively eating a banana. In February, another singer, Laila Amer, was jailed over suggestive gestures in a video.