A Giza court has sentenced two Egyptian men to two years in prison for bullying and assaulting a 14-year-old Sudanese boy.
Nael Mohamed was targeted in June 2020 by the two Egyptians in a racially-motivated attack while walking in Cairo. The two men captured themselves on video, which was later uploaded to TikTok, throwing stones at the Sudanese boy and mocking him for his skin colour and ethnicity.
“I’m tired, I want to die,” the 14-year-old reportedly said after the incident, according to local media outlets.
The misdemeanour court in Giza’s Imbaba district sentenced the two men to two years imprisonment and fined each defendant EGP 100,000 ($USD 6,250 as at the time of publication). The two men were charged and convicted for discrimination that disturbed the public peace, insulting the boy, violating the boy’s privacy by posting a video of the racially-motivated attack online and for stealing the boy’s personal belongings.
The court’s sentence, which can still be appealed, comes after Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly approved draft amendments outlining various degrees of penalty and jail terms to criminalise bullying for the first time in Egypt’s history.
In addition to describing bullying as transgression committed on the grounds of race, gender, religion, physical attributes, and health and mental status, the new law defines the act of bullying as “a show of force or control by the offender, or the abuse of a vulnerable victim.”
In recent years, there have been a number of incidents, spread on social media, of Egyptians and non-Egyptians being targeted for their darker skin colour.
In 2018, a young girl in Damietta was subject to derogatory racial comments by her teacher. The teacher was arrested pending further investigations but the case was ultimately dismissed after the Directorate of Education, the Teachers’ Syndicate and the members of the boards of trustees of educational departments intervened and the matter was settled privately.
Meanwhile, two Egyptian men were arrested in 2019 but not charged after a racially motivated attack on a young South Sudanese boy caught on video garnered public outrage. The men were released after they “reconciled” with the young boy, reports state-media Al-Ahram.
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