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Lawsuits dropped against Egyptian actress over racy dress

Lawsuits dropped against Egyptian actress over racy dress

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Lawsuits filed against an Egyptian actress for wearing a see-through dress have been withdrawn after she made a public apology, two lawyers who brought cases against her said on Wednesday.

Rania Youssef was accused of “inciting debauchery” last week after appearing at the closing session of the Cairo International Film Festival wearing a revealing black lacy dress that showed her legs.

“We have withdrawn this morning the complaint we filed against Rania Youssef,” lawyer Amer Abdelsalam told AFP.

The 45-year-old actress was set to appear in court on January 12 to face separate lawsuits brought by Abdelsalam and Samir Sabri, known for lodging similar complaints against other public figures, among others.

Her case has sparked controversy in Egypt and touched off a heated debate on social media over “public decency” and whether wearing a revealing outfit warrants jail time.

The uproar pushed Youssef to apologise, telling local media she did not expect such strong a reaction and would not have worn the outfit if she knew it would provoke such outrage.

Egypt is a largely conservative society.

Earlier this year, prosecutors detained a female singer for four days for “incitement to debauchery” after an online video clip which includes sensual oriental dances and suggestive gestures went viral.

Last year another female pop singer was sentenced to two years in prison on similar charges, also over a video deemed provocative. Her sentence was reduced to a year on appeal.

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