The seven men accused of sexually assaulting a woman in the Mit Ghamr city of Daqahlia were acquitted of the charges placed against them. Over the two days of the proceeding, ending on 22 March, the judge heard the testimony of the victim and witnesses, as well as defence lawyers.
The defence of the accused relied mainly on three main points: that questions by the prosecution implied inconsistencies in her testimony, the further claim that there is no definitive proof of the crime, and images from her accounts on social media meant to demonstrate that she does not abide by conservative social norms.
The reasoning for the verdict is yet to be published.
Egypt’s Public Prosecution announced the arrest of the seven men in December of last year after they were recognised with the help of security camera footage. The arrests came after social media posts went viral when Bassant exposed the incident and found herself facing further threats and harassment, which according to her Facebook account she is still experiencing.
In her Facebook post published on 22 March, she lamented the lack support from the prosecution, in contrast with statements made by the Prosecutor General calling on victims of sexual harassment to come forward with their stories, assuring that their rights would be protected.
أنا بسنت، أو “فتاة ميت غمر” كما تداولت الميديا أخباري من ديسمبر اللي فات.
طول الوقت اللي فات فضلت عدم الظهور وانتظار…
The Public Prosecution’s statement expressed that a group of men formed a circle around the victim and harassed her, touching her private parts, and pushing themselves against her.
Bassant posted a number of messages and appeared on Lamees Al Hadidy’s show where she asked for protection, saying that she feared for her life after being threatened to drop her accusations.
The ruling could be appealed, but by the prosecution, not the victim.