A 24-year-old Egyptian woman has been killed after a group of men dragged her through the streets with their van.
Mariam Saleh was walking home from work when three men sexually harassed and catcalled her. When she tried to escape, one of them grabbed her handbag. The van accelerated and Mariam was dragged behind the vehicle.
Her body was found in Maadi covered in fractures and wounds inflicted from being dragged under the wheels and then hitting a parked car. She died before she reached the hospital.
The incident and the perpetrators were caught on camera and the footage was confiscated by police.
Yesterday, Egypt’s prosecution ordered the arrest of three men charged with sexually harassing, dragging and killing a woman in Cairo’s Maadi suburb, reported the state-run Al-Ahram.
However, the Public Prosecution has now released a statement claiming that the men were trying to steal Mariam’s handbag, rather than that she was the victim of sexual harassment, reports Egyptian Streets.
Mariam is the latest victim in Egypt’s sexual harassment and abuse crisis, which has rocked the country in recent months.
Rights advocates have long lamented the government’s tendency to treat women who have suffered sexual abuse as the perpetrators rather than the victims. At the same time, sexual harassment and abuse often goes unpunished.
Over the summer, nine men were accused of drugging and raping a woman at the luxury Fairmont Nile City Hotel in 2014. The group filmed the rape and then used the footage to blackmail the victim.
As pressure grew, authorities ordered that the men be arrested. There was an outcry after the government went on to arrest three witnesses to the gang-rape who were investigated for drug abuse, inciting debauchery and participating in an orgy.
In July Ahmed Bassem Zaki was charged with indecent assault of at least three women including one minor in a case that opened up a rare public debate on sex crimes in Egypt.
Several TikTok women are currently being prosecuted for so-called debauchery online in what is being seen as a targeted attack against both women and social media influencers.