A British national was raped in her hotel room in Sharm el-Sheikh by a security guard, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism confirmed Sunday night.
In a phone-in with Lamees al-Hadidi on her talk show “Hona al-A’sema,” ministry spokesperson Rasha Azayzi confirmed reports that the British tourist had been raped by the hotel’s security guard in the Red Sea resort.
While the incident took place four days ago, according to Azayzi, it only surfaced on local media on Sunday after it was reported in the Daily Mail, a British daily newspaper.
The newspaper reported that the guard was escorting the woman back to the hotel when he allegedly pulled her into her bedroom and raped her.
Azayzi did not give a straight answer as to what kind of measures will be taken against the security guard and the hotel, despite Hadidi asking her several times.
“Measures in cases like these may extend to closing down the hotel altogether,” Azayzi claimed.
But she then explained that the main problem is with hotel personnel, who can be fired from one hotel but may be hired by neighboring hotels after that.
The spokesperson went on to condemn sexual harassment in general, including a controversial incident last week at Cairo University. And yet when asked again what would happen in the Sharm el-Sheikh case, Azayzi answered that “this kind of thing happens in all countries around the world.”
Azayzi explained that the ministry’s role is to “monitor” and ask for legislative measures to combat sexual harassment. She added that the ministry is in contact with Interim President Adly Mansour and Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb, as well as the British embassy.
The Daily Mail reported that the victim was flown back to Britain, where Hampshire Police are leading the investigation. She may have to return to Egypt, the newspaper added.
A spokesperson for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) was quoted in the newspaper as saying that “reports of cases of sexual assault against British nationals have increased during and since the unrest of early 2011.”
He said that in 2012, the FCO handled 23 cases of sexual assault and six cases of rape.
The tourism industry has already been one of the hardest hit by the political instability and lack of security plaguing the country since 2011. Revenues from the industry reached their peak in 2010, reaching US$12.5 billion, compared to just $5.9 billion last year.