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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Belly dancing to moral policing: Egypt may imprison actress for ‘revealing outfit’

News Desk |

Rania Yousef, an Egyptian actress may face five years of imprisonment for wearing a tempting outfit at the International Film Festival in Cairo. The actress’s glamorous appearance in a black lacey revealing dress at the red carpet of the festival has irked the moral Public Police, who are planning to pursue a criminal lawsuit against the actress.

Three lawyers, who are known for slamming entertainers on the account of transcending the hardcore moral standards of Egyptian society, have filed a case of debauchery against the actress. Yousef is expected to face charges, in a criminal lawsuit that accuses her of wearing an outfit to the International Film Festival Cairo that constituted “incitement to debauchery”.

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A trial has been scheduled in January and Rania Yousef, in her 40’s may face five years of imprisonment if convicted. Rania Yousef is the latest in the bandwagon of prosecution of the entertainers in Egypt under the authoritarian regime of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

The lawyers and Public Moral Police are keeping an eagle’s eye on the entertainers, and charge them under the criminal offense even for the slightest breach. Egyptian celebrities are heavily monitored for their attires, behavior, comments, and even jokes for the sake of protecting Egyptian nationalism.

Earlier, pop singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab was initially sentenced to six months of imprisonment for an onstage joke about the quality of water of dirty River Nile. She was later released on the appeal.

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Another actress is also serving the sentence of imprisonment in Egyptian jail as a punishment for making lewd gestures in the video. A female rights activist is also imprisoned for posting a profanity-laced video on Facebook about being sexually harassed in the public.

The women and their dress codes stand at contradictions in the culture of Egypt in which women are expected to cover themselves in public but at the same time the tradition of belly dance is also admired and repulsed.