An Egyptian court in the Nile Delta city of Tala has set a date for the trial of three teenagers who killed 18-year-old high school student Mahmoud El-Banna after he defended a teenage girl they were sexually harassing and beating in the street.
After intervening, El-Banna posted, “it’s not manly to beat a girl in the street” on Facebook. In retaliation the three boys, led by a 17-year-old who has been identified as M. Rageh, ambushed El-Banna and stabbed him three times in his neck and stomach.
El-Banna died in hospital and has been dubbed “the martyr of chivalry”. The three perpetrators were arrested and now face charges of premeditated murder.
Two CCTV videos have been leaked, the first of the initial harassment and the second showing El- Banna being chased through the street by the perpetrators.
— Mohamed (@Mohamed21400844) October 9, 2019
Videos of his funeral circulated online depicted thousands of people walking through the street beside his body demanding the suspects receive the maximum punishment.
مشهد الشهيد محمود البنا. عريس الجنه..
الله يرحمك يمحمود ويغفرلك ويصبر اهلك .وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللّهُ إِلاَّ بِالحَقِّ وَمَن قُتِلَ مَظْلُومًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِيِّهِ سُلْطَانًا فَلاَ يُسْرِف فِّي الْقَتْلِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مَنْصُورًا.#راجح_قاتل pic.twitter.com/fTJXIY2Ob2
— 🌻AyatBalouz (@AyatBalouz) October 10, 2019
Activists online accused Egyptian films of promoting violence and bullying.
This is the second case in recent months to ignite a debate about sexual harassment in Egypt. A 2013 United Nations study showed that 99.3 per cent of Egyptian women have suffered some form of sexual harassment.
In July 15-year-old Amira Ahmed Rizk, who became known as the “Ayat girl”, stabbed a microbus driver 14 times after he attempted to rape her.
Under Egyptian law the actual rape must take place in order for it to be considered self-defence and social media users united online and called for her to be released.
The three suspects in the El-Banna case, who are under 18, are set to be tried as minors in a juvenile court, however Amira was detained with adults and was being investigated by the general prosecution rather than the juvenile prosecution.
According to Al Jazeera, security forces initially announced that El-Banna was killed following an argument with some of his friends in a café.
Authorities have been criticised for their inaction on sexual harassment, highlighted by the case of Egyptian footballer Amr Warda who was suspended from the national team during the Africa Cup of Nations after harassing women and then reinstated.
In 2014 the government passed a law which stipulated that sexual harassment is punishable by five years of prison time but it is not enforced or effective. Last year Reuters said Egypt was the worst country in the world to be a woman.