• August 6, 2020

Egypt’s Rape Victims Get Anonymity Protection To Save Them From Stigmatisation

Victims of sexual abuse in Egypt are to get anonymity after a high-profile case that saw plenty women using social media to accuse a male student of multiple assaults.

The new proposal means victims’ identities could only be revealed to a court and to defendants upon request.

Research revealed that though sexual abuse is rife in Egypt but women get blamed often times when they reveal or report cases.

The Egyptian cabinet approved the anonymity bill on Wednesday as the
current attention to the issue began with a rare social media campaign in which women revealed their experiences of alleged abuse.

An Instagram account called Assault Police was set up last week to publish allegations of rape, sexual harassment and blackmail by dozens of women against student Ahmed Bassam Zaki, who is reportedly from a wealthy family.

He was arrested and Egypt’s public prosecutor charged him with indecent assault against at least three women, including one who was a minor at the time on Monday.

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The man born with the silver spoon faces charges of “attempting to have sex with two girls without their consent and indecent assault against both of them and a third girl” between 2016 and 2020, the prosecutor said.

The prosecutor general’s office said Mr Zaki had admitted contacting six women via social media, receiving photos from them and then threatening to send the photos to their families after they chose to end contact with him but Mr Zaki denies the other charges.

The case has attracted huge attention in national media and from leading institutions.

The country’s top Islamic clerical authority, al-Azhar, advised women to report incidents.

He said silence is a threat to society and often led to more violations.

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Femi Oshin

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