Egypt’s Public Prosecution released a statement on Friday announcing the arrest of four suspects accused of kidnapping and abusing three South Sudanese minors and holding them against their will in the Aim Shams area last week.
The Public Prosecution ordered the defendants to be detained for four days in pre-trial detention on charges of kidnapping, torturing and bullying the three victims.
This comes after the spread of a video on Tik Tok and social media showing the harrowing verbal abuse and physical assault of a 15-year-old South Sudanese boy on Thursday, which was later presented to the Attorney General and an investigation was launched into the incident.
The investigation revealed that the three minors were traveling home in a tuk-tuk last Thursday morning when they were pursued and kidnapped by three men. The three adolescents were then taken to one of the kidnappers’ mother’s house, where the victims were physically and sexually assaulted at the roof for three hours, and one girls’ hair was forcibly shaved.
The 16-year old girl who accompanied the victims noted that they were stripped of their clothes and sexually assaulted, and that the mother was also involved with the three perpetrators and forced the three children to clean the house.
Incidents of violence and harassment against black refugees in Egypt are increasingly common. Last year in July, two Egyptian men were sentenced by a Giza court to two years in prison for bullying and assaulting a 14-year-old Sudanese boy. The two men were also fined EGP 100,000 ($USD 6,250 as at the time of publication).
The court’s sentence last year came after Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly approved draft amendments outlining various degrees of penalty and jail terms to criminalize bullying for the first time in Egypt’s history.
In addition to describing bullying as a 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.”