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Young Egyptian who posts video recounting rape arrested by security forces

Menna Abdel Aziz went on TikTok to tell how her friend Mazen Ibrahim raped her, stole her phone, assaulted her
Menna Abdel Aziz went on TikTok to recount how her friend Mazen Ibrahim raped her, stole her phone and assaulted her, 25 May 2020 [Instagram]

An Egyptian woman who appeared online with a swollen and bruised face to tell how her friend raped her has been arrested by security forces.

Menna Abdel Aziz recounts how her friend Mazen Ibrahim raped her, stole her phone, assaulted her and photographed her.

Mazen was helped by three other women, said Menna in the video which went viral – Shaima and Fatima Shaker and another woman who was identified as Rahma.

Her arrest underscores the Egyptian government’s attitude towards women who complain about abuse and rape, which is to punish the victim and ensure the perpetrator will not be brought to account.

READ: Egypt pardons former police officer who killed Lebanon singe

Earlier this week the Egyptian policeman Mohsen Al-Sukkari who was hired to kill Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim in 2008 was released on a presidential pardon.

On New Year’s Eve a video of a woman attacked by a mob in Mansoura as she tried to get into her car recalled asking a nearby policeman to help, but he refused saying he was short-staffed and was waiting for back up.

Last year, when Egyptian football star Amr Warda was found to be sexually harassing a number of women aggressively online, he was kicked off the national football team and then swiftly reinstated after he was defended by several teammates including Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

Activist Amal Fathy and Lebanese tourist Mona El-Mazboh have been jailed for speaking out about sexual harassment in Egypt.

Menna is the third young woman in recent weeks to be arrested after publishing videos on the TikTok platform.

In April Egyptian university student and social media influencer Haneen Hussam was arrested and accused of “legalising prostitution”, and “inciting debauchery” after she posted a video calling on women to help her advertise an agency she had created on the video sharing platform Likee.

READ: Female prisoners in Sisi’s jails

The same month dancer Sama El-Masry was arrested on charges of debauchery and immorality and in May influencer Mawada Eladhm was arrested for “violating family values”.

As use of social media platforms have soared under the curfew in place in Egypt, Egyptian authorities have moved to crack down on anyone that could have influence, including calling for stricter surveillance of women.

Whilst the mainstream media is firmly under the state’s control, authorities have struggled to control what is posted on social media, though this hasn’t stopped them trying.

Egypt’s media regulation law allows authorities to block individual social media accounts.

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