German Press Agency: Deutsche Welle fired employee after ‘credible’ sexual harassment allegations

An employee at German state television network Deutsche Welle (DW) has been fired from the institution following “credible” allegations of sexual harassment, the German Press Agency (DPA) revealed on Friday.

In an internal statement, DW said that it had conducted an investigation and taken necessary measures after finding that the sexual harassment allegations made against one of its employees appeared to be credible. It clarified that the individual in question — who was not named in the statement — does not work for the network any longer.

The statement comes amid controversy surrounding sexual harassment allegations directed at Egyptian TV presenter Yosri Fouda, who joined DW in June 2016. In early August, Fouda abruptly announced that he was “taking a break” from the network for health reasons.

Local news outlets cited anonymous sources alleging that Fouda had been let go from the network following three cases of sexual harassment brought forward by colleagues at DW.

Apart from the media reports, activist Dalia al-Faghal publicly accused Fouda of “using his status and workplace to exploit, assault and harm women” in a Facebook post published on Thursday. Recounting an incident that took place in September 2016, she stated that after inviting her to Berlin for a potential employment offer, the TV host arranged for her to stay at his residence, rather than at a hotel as he had previously offered, and made continual unwanted sexual advances when she arrived.

On Monday, Fouda released a statement vehemently denying all accusations made against him, claiming that these allegations were part of an attempt by the Egyptian state to discredit him. He reiterated his denial on Wednesday, calling on his accusers to resort to the judicial system in Germany or elsewhere, adding, “I would be happy to answer any questions in court.”

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