Nabih al-Wahsh has been sentenced to three years in prison for saying woman wearing ripped jeans should be raped - Representational image REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

A lawyer in Egypt has been sentenced to three years in prison on Saturday (2 December) for saying women wearing ripped jeans should be raped.

Nabih al-Wahsh was also fined 20,000 Egyptian pounds (£839, $1,130), the BBC reports.

The sentence against Nabih al-Wahsh was passed in his absence. He was previously released on bail, but did not attend the hearing at the Azbakeya Misdemeanor Court in Cairo on Saturday.

The locally popular lawyer, known for his conservative views, made the remarks on a TV panel show during a debate on a draft law on prostitution which aired on 19 October.

"Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing?" he asked.

"I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her," he added.

The lawyer was charged with "publicly inciting to flout the law" and "spreading with malice reports and statements meant to perturb public order... and harm the public interest".

The National Council for Women's Rights condemned the lawyer's remarks and said they were a "flagrant call" for rape, in violation of "everything in the Egyptian constitution".

But Al-Wahsh insisted on defending his comments and said that he would not retract his remarks, even if his own daughter was concerned.

This was not the first instance Wahsh made such outrageous remarks. He previously called the Holocaust "imaginary" and declared himself an anti-Semite.

"If I see any Israeli, I will kill him," he had said during a separate TV panel show.

Last October he was also involved in a TV studio brawl after the Sydney imam, Mostafa Rashid, suggested that it was not necessary for women to wear a headscarf.