Sexual Harasser Who Slapped Woman Granted EGP 100 Bail Amid Public Outcry Against Riham Saeed

Sexual Harasser Who Slapped Woman Granted EGP 100 Bail Amid Public Outcry Against Riham Saeed

By Aswat Masriya, Edited by Egyptian Streets

A Cairo prosecutor released Thursday on EGP 100 bail a man accused of harassing and attacking a young woman in a Cairo mall, amid public condemnation of TV anchorwoman Riham Saeed, who appeared to defend him, displaying personal photographs of the victim on air.

In the video footage a young woman is seen walking in a mall a few steps behind a man, speaking on her cell phone. The man turns around, they exchange a few words then all of a sudden he angrily slaps her twice before security guards push him away.

When Saeed interviewed the woman, Somaya Tarek, on her TV show Sabaya al-Kheir Tuesday night, Tarek said that she was first “harassed” by her assaulter and that when she threatened to call security, he followed her and slapped her.

She denounced the mall’s security guards for failing to take action against the man.

Tarek also claimed that the personal photos of herself on the beach that Saeed displayed on air to imply that Tarek “has brought it on herself”, were taken from her cell phone by the production team without her knowledge. She had left the phone with them to charge it.

The whole incident stirred fury against Saeed on social media where the hashtag #Die_Riham trending on Twitter within two hours of its launch and people calling for killing her show.

On Wednesday Saeed defended herself by saying that the photos were “public” because Tarek has become a public figure after appearing on TV.

Claiming that she is the epitome of professionalism, Saeed emphasised that there are always two sides to any story and interviewed the assaulter’s sister on air, who claimed that her brother only slapped her when Tarek insulted him with expletives.

However, Saeed’s statement backfired. More than five major sponsors of her television show have pulled all advertisement. Among those who publicly condemned Saeed and pulled their advertisements are Chipsy, Electrostar, and Aloe Eva.

Independent Human Rights lawyer Yasmin Hossam told Aswat Masriya that what Saeed did was a “crime” violating article 99 of the constitution which protected the sanctity of personal freedom.

The article states that “any violation of personal freedom, or the sanctity of the private life of citizens, or any other public rights and freedoms which are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Law is a crime. The criminal and civil lawsuit arising of such crime shall not abate by prescription.”

The law further says that the “affected party shall have the right to bring a direct criminal action.” The law guaranteed “fair compensation” for the victims of such “violations”.

Hossam added that according to the penal code, people who violate the sanctity of personal freedom could receive up to a year in prison.

As for the alleged harasser, the penal code stipulates no less than 6 months and a fine of between EGP 3,000 and EGP 5,000.

According to article 306 of the penal code, which was amended by Interim President Adly Mansour in June 2014, if the harasser was following the victim, the imprisonment period should not be less than a year and a fine starting EGP 5,000 and EGP 10,000.

Physical assault would also put him away between six months to three years, she added.

Often stirring controversy, Saeed has long been criticised on social media.

In September, she raised a firestorm of anger while on a “humanitarian” mission to support Syrian refugees in Lebanon whome she described as “ruined” as video footage showed them snatching food and clothes from an assistance truck.

The episode sparked public indignation for what was believed to be an “insult” to refugees.

Riham Saeed's Television Show Suspended After Airing Private Photos of Abuse Victim
Egyptian Government Threatens to Fire Workers as Strikes Continue in Mahalla

Subscribe to our newsletter


Aswat Masriya is a Thomson Reuters Foundation-sponsored website that covers Egypt's transition to democracy.

More in News


Egypt Court Upholds Former President Morsi’s 20-Year Prison Sentence

Aswat MasriyaOctober 23, 2016
Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi arrives at Air Force station in New Delhi on September 1, 2016 AFP / PRAKASH SINGH

Egyptian President Sisi’s Approval Ratings Fall to 68%: Baseera

Egyptian StreetsOctober 23, 2016

Egypt’s President Sisi Calls for ‘Maximum Vigilance’ After Brigadier General Killed in Cairo

Egyptian StreetsOctober 23, 2016

Egypt Court Releases Mother of Suez FGM Victim, Postpones Trial to November

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016
John Kerry

US Shifts Over $100 Million of Aid Away From Egypt

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016

Egypt’s Mediation Efforts Secure Evacuations, Delivery of Humanitarian Aid, Says Foreign Ministry

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016
A worker sells subsidized food commodities at a government-run supermarket in Cairo, Egypt, Feb.14, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt to Consider Boosting Subsidies to Shield Low-Income Citizens from Hardships of Economic Reform

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2016
An Egyptian supporter waves a national flag during the World Cup qualifying playoff second leg soccer match, at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Egypt to Reopen Stadiums to Soccer Fans for World Cup Qualifier

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.