News

Seven arrested over brutal rape and assault of women in Egypt’s Tahrir Square

Seven arrested over brutal rape and assault of women in Egypt’s Tahrir Square

tahrir

Egypt’s Ministry of Interior has announced that seven have been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting up to four women during celebrations for the inauguration of Egypt’s new President.

The arrests came after outrage on social media following the release of a graphic video on YouTube showing a woman stripped naked, beaten and assaulted in the Square that was once the epicentre of the January 25 revolution

The original video, which can be viewed here [warning extremely distressing and graphic], has received more than 100,000 views in less than 24 hours.

Yet, it was another video of a Tahrir Channel television host excusing the sexual assault that has received an even greater response.

When told of multiple reports of sexual assaults at Tahrir Square, the female anchor Maha Bahnassy laughs and exclaims “they’re just happy!”

While the anchor has apologized for the remarks, which she says were a mistake, social media users have called for a boycott of Tahrir channel.

The government responds

The Ministry of Interior responded almost immediately to the sexual assault claims, confirming that four women had been raped or assaulted.

The women include a pregnant woman and a mother and her young daughter. Meanwhile, the graphic video released purportedly shows a mother that had attended the Tahrir Square celebrations with her daughter. The woman was grabbed by a gang of men who then reportedly assaulted her for up to 20 minutes before others, including police officers, intervened and took her to a near by ambulance.

The Interior Ministry has said that the men arrested were aged between 15 and 49. Their names and photographs have also been publicly released on the Ministry’s Facebook page and in local media.

Crackdown on sexual harassment

Protesters opposing Egyptian President Mursi take part in protest demanding that he resign at Tahrir Square in Cairo

Earlier this week, Egypt’s outgoing Interim President Adly Mansour issued into power new laws which harshened the punishment to those found guilty of unwanted sexual contact. Violators of this law will be punished with a minimum of one year in prison and a fine between EGP 10,000 and EGP 20,000.

Additionally, for the first time in Egypt’s history, the Interim President Adly Mansour passed a law criminalizing all forms of sexual harassment.

The new law defines sexual harassment as occuring through stalking, using gestures or words or through modern means of communication (i.e. internet, mobile and more) or in any other means through actions that carry sexual or pornographic hints.

Sexual harassment continues to be an epidemic in Egypt with almost 99 percent of women surveyed in a report released April 2013 by the United Nations in collaboration with Egypt’s Demographic Centre and the National Planning Institute, have reported being sexually harassed.
Previously, Egypt had no specific law forbidding sexual harassment. However, some articles in the penal code were sometimes enforced in the occurrence of harassment cases.

Egypt's President Sisi Condemns Tahrir Square Sexual Assault
Ibrahim Mahlab reappointed as Egypt's Prime Minister By Al-Sisi

Subscribe to our newsletter


News

More in News

Pushing For a Youth-Driven Mental Health Movement in Egypt: EMPWRNG MNDS Conference

Egyptian StreetsJuly 14, 2020

Egypt Records 912 COVID-19 Cases, 89 Deaths

Egyptian StreetsJuly 12, 2020

Legendary Egyptian Dancer Mahmoud Reda Dies Aged 89

Egyptian StreetsJuly 10, 2020

Egypt Passes Law Concealing Identity of Sexual Harassment, Assault and Rape Victims

Egyptian StreetsJuly 9, 2020

Ethiopia to Start Filling GERD in July: PM

Egyptian StreetsJuly 8, 2020

Accused Sexual Predator Ahmed Zaki Confesses to Blackmail, Intimidation: Egyptian Public Prosecution

Egyptian StreetsJuly 7, 2020

Egypt’s Minister for Military Production Mohamed El-Assar Dies at 74

Egyptian StreetsJuly 7, 2020

Multiple Egyptian Women File Official Complaints Against Accused Rapist Ahmed Bassam Zaki

Egyptian StreetsJuly 6, 2020