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Egypt detains second suspect in alleged rape case, three more held in Lebanon

August 30, 2020 at 4:00 pm

The five-star Fairmont Nile City hotel, where an alleged sexual assault took place in 2014, in the Egyptian capital Cairo on 30 July 2020 [SAMER ABDALLAH/AFP via Getty Images]

Egyptian public prosecutors have ordered the detention of a second man suspected of being involved in an alleged gang rape at a luxury hotel in Cairo in 2014 pending investigations, they said in a statement on Sunday, Reuters reports.

Police arrested the man on Aug 28, days after a first suspect was arrested in Cairo.

Seven other suspects fled the country between July 27 and July 29 after claims against them began circulating on the internet, the public prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

Five of the seven suspects escaped to Lebanon, where security forces Aug. 28 arrested three of them after receiving a notice from the international police organization Interpol’s office in Egypt, the internal security forces (ISF) said in a statement on Saturday.

Two suspects had left the country, the ISF said.

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Anger at inaction over the 2014 incident at Cairo’s Fairmont Hotel helped fuel a campaign against harassment and assault in which hundreds of women have shared testimonies online.

Prosecutors said they launched an investigation into the Fairmont Hotel case after legal complaints were lodged in early August. They said the suspects had been able to flee because the complaints had not been submitted earlier, and they urged victims to file complaints rather than post accusations online.

The Fairmont Hotel case was publicised on an Instagram account that had previously carried accusations against a university student from a wealthy background of raping and blackmailing multiple women.