2 men face year in prison for sexual harassment
Photograph: Virginie Nguyen
 

Two men were sentenced to a year in prison on Monday for sexually harassing a woman in a Nasr City shopping mall, the state-owned Middle East News Agency reported.

The Nasr City Misdemeanor Court also levied a fine of LE5,000 for each defendant. The woman had accused the men of verbally harassing her while she was shopping. 

The prosecution referred a similar case to trial on Sunday, in which a school teacher is accused of sexually harassing a student, according to the Reuters-affiliated news site Aswat Masriya.

In a separate incident, a man was sentenced to a year in prison with hard labor on Saturday for filming a woman sleeping on a public bus. He was also fined LE3,000.

The judiciary appears to be taking harsh measures against sex crimes as part of a broader state strategy to clamp down on the problem.

Shortly before he left office, former President Adly Mansour amended the Penal Code to include articles criminalizing sexual harassment. The amendments included new definitions for sexual harassment and sexual assault, stipulating penalties of a minimum of one year in prison to a maximum of 10 years.

But on the same day that Mansour stepped down and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was inaugurated into office, a spate of vicious sexual assaults amid celebrations in Tahrir Square sparked an uproar, with critics condemning the government for not doing enough to counteract sexual violence.

Twelve defendants will stand trial on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in the sexual assault, which was video recorded and posted on YouTube. The video showed the defendants sexually assaulting a woman, stripping her naked and injuring her with knives.

Sisi visited the victim in hospital, and pledged to confront sexual harassment and bring her attackers to justice.

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