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Man Sentenced to Prison for Sexual Harassment in Egypt

Man Sentenced to Prison for Sexual Harassment in Egypt

Egyptian women line up to vote in 2012
Egyptian women line up to vote in 2012

An Egyptian court has sentenced a man to one year in prison and fined him EGP 10,000 (1,427 US dollars) for verbal sexual harassment, reported Aswat Masriya.

The man, in his 20’s, had been accused of verbally harassing a woman at the Dokki Metro station. The woman reported the incident to a local police station where a report was filed and charges were laid.

A Cairo court found the defendant guilty of attacking the modesty of the victim, added Aswat Masriya.

While five sexual harassers were found guilty on various charges last year, this is the first case under new anti-sexual harassment laws in Egypt.

In a statement to Aswat Masriya, Mostafa Mahmoud, from Nazra for Feminist Studies and the attorney of the victim, said that the rulings help in controlling the increasing cases of sexual harassment in Egypt, adding that the rulings encourage women to take legal action against their abusers.

New Anti-Sexual Harassment Law

Egypt’s Justice Ministry had amended to existing laws on harassment after vows to crackdown on the sexual harassment epidemic that Egypt faces.

According to Al-Ahram, the law, for the first time in Egypt’s history, defines sexual harassment and places strict punishments on those found guilty of harassment.

The Justice Ministry stated to Al-Ahram that the draft law defines a sexual harasser as anyone who “accosts others in public or private through following or stalking them, using gestures or words or through modern means of communication or in any other means through actions that carry sexual or pornographic hints.”

Anyone found guilty can be sentenced to a minimum of one year and a maximum of 10 years and can be fined anywhere between EGP 10,000 and EGP 20,000.

Those in ‘superior positions’ (i.e. a supervisor in a school or at work) found guilty risk a 3-7 year sentence. Meanwhile, those who engage in mob harassment attacks (two or more people) can be jailed to up to five years. Furthermore, repeat offenders can be sentenced to 3-15 years in a maximum security prison.

According to the UN, 99% of women in Egypt have experienced some form of sexual harassment. Outrage recently erupted when a woman wearing black trousers and a pink sweater was sexually harassed by a mob while at Cairo University.

Reporting by Omnia Talal, Aswat Masriya, and Mohamed Khairat, Egyptian Streets

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  • Milena

    Go for it girls!
    The men there have much to learn.
    They do not respect women. To go on the street there was dangerous for us turist girls.
    I thought they never have seen a woman before!
    All of them want to tach and it felt horrible..
    Hope the women get more power there..

  • Karen

    OK, good – we can call this progress in the war against the epidemic of sexual harassment of women in Egypt, HOWEVER it’s dealing with the RESULT rather than the ROOT of the problem… to use a Western analogy, it’s like sending a drunk driver to jail for running someone over after the event instead of teaching him that it’s wrong to drink and drive in the first place. Egyptian boys have to be taught to respect girls/women in the first place – such lessons begin in the home and should be reinforced in the mosques and churches.

  • Dorothy McLarnon

    At last. We also have to thank and recognize the police offficer who took the report seriously and made a case out of it. Let’s hope there are plenty more like him.

  • Nadia Diab

    You go girl, good job to everyone who got involved to teach young men to stop sexual harassment of women.

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@khairatmk

Mohamed Khairat is the Founder and Chief Editor of Egyptian Streets.

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