Lawyer Nabih al-Wahsh was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison and a LE20,000 fine by an emergency state security court in Azbakeya for inciting rape, following televised remarks in which he claimed it is a “national duty” to rape women wearing ripped jeans.
Wahsh was also convicted of sexually harassing women through media channels and disseminating news that could undermine public security and damage public interests.
Emergency state security court verdicts, operating under Egypt’s current state of emergency, cannot be appealed by defendants. Rulings by these courts have to be ratified by the president, who has the power to annul or reduce the sentence, or to order a retrial. If Wahsh pays an additional LE10,000 bail, however, the sentence may be suspended, the privately owned Al-Watan newspaper reported.
Wahsh was referred to trial by General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek on November 26, following degrading comments made during a televised interview in which he claimed it is a “national duty” to rape and harass women who wear ripped jeans.
“[I] was sentenced because I was defending moral fundamentals and being protective of the chaste and pure girls and women of my country, in fear of contagion from degenerate western mimics,” Wahsh commented on Facebook.
More than a week after Wahsh made his inflammatory statements, the National Council for Women filed an official complaint against him and the station, accusing the lawyer of inciting rape against women and undermining public safety and social peace.
Wahsh currently faces another lawsuit, filed by lawyer Samir Sabry, that seeks to prevent him from any future media appearances. The Supreme Council for Media Regulation had issued a decision on November 25, preventing Wahsh from appearing on television channels for three months.