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Egypt’s prosecutor orders investigation into hotel gang rape

August 6, 2020 at 12:31 pm

Egypt’s prosecutor has ordered an investigation into a gang rape at a hotel in Cairo in 2014.

On Tuesday the government’s National Council of Women sent a letter to the prosecution along with a complaint made by one of the women.

A group of men have been accused of drugging and raping a young woman at the Fairmont Nile City Hotel in Cairo in 2014.

According to social media posts the men signed their initials on her body and filmed the abuse, which was then used to blackmail the victim.

One social media user said they had sent death threats to women who tried to speak out about abuse and that they had a group Whatsapp in which they shared videos and details of all the women they drugged and raped.

Much has been made of the fact that the men are from upper-class families, over fears that authorities will not pursue justice for the victim.

On 29 July the Instagram account Assault Police, which exposed the serial sex offender Ahmed Bassem Zaki, was shut down after its administrators received death threats.

READ: Egypt lawmakers approve bill to protect sex assault victims’ identity

Zaki was accused of some 100 sexual crimes after dozens of women shared their stories and experiences under the hashtag “the harasser Ahmed Bassem Zaki”.

As well as sexual assault, Zaki blackmailed women using nude pictures and threatened to tell their family and friends about their sexual encounters.

His arrest led to others, including that of the activist Mohamed Nagy, who admitted on Facebook he had sexually harassed women, and apologised.

The publisher Mohammed Hashem, owner of Merit Publishing House, was also accused of sexual harassment, which he has denied.

The recent wave of people coming forward to report sexual harassment in Egypt has been dubbed its #MeToo moment.

As the pressure rose, authorities approved a draft law granting sexual abuse survivors the right to anonymity.

Experts have long lamented authorities’ failure to prosecute sexual predators, protect women from sexual harassment and the harsh sentences it gives to women supposedly contradicting family values and promoting debauchery.

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