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5 years prison for Egypt teenager whose sexual blackmail sparked girl’s suicide

March 28, 2022 at 9:59 am

Basant Khaled, 17-year-old Egyptian woman [@Wirjil/Twitter]

A teenager has been sentenced to five years in prison in Egypt after a teenager committed suicide after images doctored to make her look naked were shared of her online.

Basant Khaled, who was just 17 at the time, swallowed a poisonous pill in December last year.

Basant’s sister said that a young man had asked her sister out and when she refused, he created the photos of her with a friend and shared them online.

Classmates and her teacher bullied Basant after the images were circulated and her father did not believe her that the photos were fake.

Later, her father said that in the photos her “face had been attached to the body of someone else.”

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In a suicide note Basant wrote, “Mum, I hope you understand that I am not this girl. 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.”

A trending Arabic hashtag in support of Basant earlier this year put pressure on authorities to act.

In January two men were arrested after fleeing their village in the Nile Delta Province of Gharbuyah and according to AFP, there are five other defendants in the case who will be tried in May.

Last week a 16-year-old was sentenced to two years in prison for statutory rape and three years for circulating photos and videos without Basant’s consent.

He has also been accused of “undermining family values” and online harassment, according to AFP.

According to the rights organisation Belady, electronic blackmail has grown extensively where indecent pictures or videos of women are published online for the purpose of sexually exploiting them.

Also in January Heidi Shehata, 15, committed suicide in northern Egypt after her neighbours doctored photos of her and threatened to share them online if she didn’t give them money.