Woman Faces Two Years In Prison For “Shameful” Dress

According to authorities, a 24-year-old woman who was detained in Rwanda for donning “shameful” apparel might spend up to two years in prison.

Liliane Mugabekazi was detained on August 7 after showing up in a revealing dress to a concert by well-known French artist Tayc eight days earlier.

“She attended the concert while wearing clothes that reveal her private parts… clothes that we call shameful,” prosecutors said, accusing her of committing a “serious crime”.

“It is on these serious grounds that we ask the court to remand Mugabekazi for 30 days.

She is suspected of committing public indecency, said the prosecution’s spokesman, Faustin Nkusi, who also said the court would decide on Tuesday whether to grant her bail.

Some Rwandans expressed outrage upon hearing of the arrest, but government officials, including former justice minister Johnston Busingye, supported the action.

Busingye, who is currently Rwanda’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, tweeted, “The current issue of our young men and women who drink and drug themselves unconscious, stand in public literally nude, is unpleasant.

“I support the efforts… to address it.”

Last week, police spokesman John Bosco Kabera condemned what he called “immorality and vulgarity among young people” in a television appearance.

“This problem is escalating… you find an individual wearing only a shirt only… without pants or shorts,” he said.

“These people then go to public places dressed like that, with clothes that look like nets.”

The first right is to dress correctly, not to wear indecently, he said in response to the program host’s question on whether “such people did not have a right to dress as they pleased.”

Many Rwandans have recently violated the nation’s severe indecency laws.

A video showing a 20-year-old woman laying on the ground in an intoxicated stupor went viral on social media in March, leading to her detention by police for “public drunkenness and indecent assault.”

Campaigners have harshly criticized the East African country’s record on human rights, charging that President Paul Kagame’s administration has quashed any criticism.

What do you think?

Written by Esther Oyugi

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