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‘A Dangerous Precedent’: Menna Abdel Aziz v. Egypt’s Failing Justice System

July 4, 2020
Menna Abdel Aziz (photo: TikTok)

Few cases have captured Egypt’s public imagination in recent months like the Menna Abdel Aziz affair. Once an obscure figure on social media, the 17-year-old burst into the country’s mainstream consciousness when she publicly accused 25-year-old Mazen Ibrahem of raping her in May, while his accomplices beat her and filmed the assault. Following social media uproar, where reactions ranged from solidarity to victim blaming, Abdel Aziz issued a fearful retraction in a social media video post where a man could be heard giving her directions. A few days later, the culprits were arrested and a forensic exam would later confirm Abdel Aziz’s initial rape and assault allegations, but by then, this assertion of wrongdoing was devoid of any vindication for the victim who now faces charges of “misusing social media, inciting debauchery and violating Egyptian family values,” according to Al Masry Al Youm. The prosecution ordered the detention of Mazen Ibrahem, Bassam Hanna, Shaimaa Shaker, Fatma Shaker, and Mohamed Hamdy, as well as the receptionist at the hotel where the assault took place who face charges of rape, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, robbery, assault, using drugs, invasion of privacy and blackmail,…

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