13 referred to court in Tahrir rape case
International Women's Day in Cairo, March 2013 - Courtesy: Laura Gribbon

The prosecution referred 13 people to criminal court on Saturday on accusations of participating in a mass sexual assault on a woman in Tahrir Square during celebrations to mark the inauguration of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

After a video was posted online showing the woman being gang raped in Tahrir Square, the state started propagating its efforts against sexual harassment.

President Sisi visited the victim of the mass assault in hospital, offering her roses and telling her, “We will bring you your rights.”

In a statement following the bike marathon he held on Friday, Sisi vowed that those who as much as verbally assault a woman would be prosecuted by law. “Do they think there are no men left in the country?” he asked.

Earlier on Saturday, East Cairo prosecution referred two young men to court after two girls reported them to police officers for verbal harassment.

The girls, ages 14 and 15, notified police officers after two young men verbally harassed them in the street in Heliopolis.

Police officers chased and arrested the two young men with the help of the area’s residents and took them to a police station, where they were referred to prosecution on charges based on the newly passed Harassment Law.

The law passed last June criminalized sexual assault — either verbal, by a gesture, or through communication in “unwelcome acts that hold sexual references in a private or public place,” with sentences of a year in prison and a fine of between ten and twenty thousand pounds for perpetrators.

A march is scheduled to take place later this evening under the title “Walk like an Egyptian woman: We go down to reject the catastrophe of the rape of Egyptian women in the streets.”


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