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Egypt: Ahmed Zaki jailed for 8 years for sexual assault, blackmail of underage girls

A graphic calling Ahmed Bassem Zaki a rapist, posted on an Instagram profile claiming to collect evidence against him [assaultpolice / Instragram]
A graphic calling Ahmed Bassem Zaki a rapist, posted on an Instagram profile claiming to collect evidence against him [assaultpolice / Instragram]

The 21-year-old student whose sexual violence sparked Egypt's MeToo movement has been sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of sexually assaulting and blackmailing three underage girls. He was given a one-year sentence on top of this for drug possession.

Last year, Ahmed Bassem Zaki was accused by over 50 women of sexual assault and blackmailing three underage girls into performing sexual favours by threatening to release compromising material of them.

Allegations against the former AUC student came to light in July 2019 after testimonies posted online by the Instagram account Assault Police detailed statutory rape, sexual and physical violence, and child molestation.

WATCH: Rape, power and corruption, is this Egypt's MeToo moment?

His case sparked a #MeToo movement in Egypt after the news spread online, with hundreds of women gaining the confidence to speak out which exposed several men and brought to light high-profile cases including the Fairmont Hotel gang rape.

Zaki's case has been closely followed by the media, religious figures, and women's groups in a country where sexual harassment and abuse often go unpunished.

Women are regularly blamed for provoking crimes and dressing provocatively which has made them reluctant to speak out whilst witnesses, for example to the gang rape, have been intimidated and arrested.

Zaki, who was arrested on 4 July, was already sentenced to three years in prison in December for using social media to sexually harass women.

The court heard how between 2016 and 2020 Zaki used social media networks and messaging apps to send explicit content to one of the girls and harass her for sexual favours.

Sexual Harassment – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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