Two men have been arrested in Egypt after a 17-year-old woman committed suicide after doctored images which made her look like she was naked, were shared online.
Basant Khaled’s sister told local news that one of the young men asked her sister out and when she refused, the two of them created and shared the photos.
The two men had fled their village in the Nile Delta Province of Gharbuyah where it took place and were in hiding before they were arrested.
After the images were circulated, Basant’s classmates and teachers bullied her. Her father reportedly did not believe that the photos were fake.
Eventually, she became so severely depressed she swallowed a toxic pill.
“Mum, I hope you understand that I am not this girl,” she wrote in a letter to her mother before committing suicide. “These photos are fake, I swear to God.”
“Mum, I’m a young girl and I don’t deserve what’s happening to me, I’m severely depressed. I can’t have any more of this. I’m tired. Show me mercy, you raised me well.”
The Arabic hashtag “Basant Khaled’s right must be returned”, in support of Basant and against electronic blackmail, was trending on Twitter.
According to the rights organisation Belady, electronic blackmail has grown extensively in the past several months where indecent pictures or videos of women are published online for the purpose of sexually exploiting them.