Egypt’s public prosecution ordered the release of TikTok star Menna Abdel Aziz, who was sexually assaulted and beaten in May by 25-year-old Mazen Ibrahem and his accomplices, according to her lawyers Hoda Nasrallah and Hazem Salah El-Din.
Lawyer Hoda Nasrallah stated that she was released from Talbiya police station in Giza yesterday.
The prosecution also referred six defendants – four males and two girls – to criminal trial, accusing one of them of kidnapping the victim, defaming her by force and threats, violating the sanctity of her private life through social media, beating her, and drug abuse, according to Al Masry Al Youm.
Evidence of these accusations were revealed from the victim’s testimony, police investigations, and the statements of the defendants themselves before the Public Prosecution, as well as what was proven in the medial report, which revealed that the defendants used a narcotic substance.
In May of this year, Abdel Aziz shared a live video with bruises on her face as she cried, revealing that she was subjected to rape and filmed by a group of young men and girls.
The video led to a social media uproar, with hashtags like #حق_منة_عبدالعزيز (Menna Abdel Aziz’s right)and #the rapist_Mazen_Ibrahim circulated on Twitter and Facebook, demanding the arrest of the rapist and his accomplices.
Abdel Aziz and six others were held for questioning earlier, while the victim, on the other hand, faced charges of “misusing social media networks, inciting debauchery and violating Egyptian family values,” which sparked another debate involving Abdel Aziz’s appearance and wardrobe choices and slut shaming her as a result.
“The fact that she is charged is a dangerous enough precedent … Why would a person who hasn’t done anything, find themself all of a sudden a defendant? They were going on about their life and someone directed violence against them. It may be read as a message to women not to speak up when they are victims,”Lobna Darwish, EIPR’s gender and human rights officer, told Egyptian Streets.
Two weeks later, Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered Abd Al-Aziz be transferred from custody to a rehabilitation centre designated for abused women amid investigations into the young girl’s sexual abuse claims.