A lower-ranking policeman and a police conscript were detained on Sunday on suspicion of raping a woman in Cairo, one of several recent alleged sexual assaults that involve police.
Initial investigations showed that the defendants raped the victim in an incident earlier this month, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported, when they spotted the woman in Cairo’s Shubra district while they were patrolling in a police vehicle.
The woman, who was not named in the report, was sitting in a parked car with a male companion. The two policemen reportedly asked her to get out of the car and told the man to leave, saying they planned to take her home.
The woman was then driven to a second location and sent a message to the man she had been with when she realised she was not being taken home.
The man immediately filed a complaint with the police. According to Al-Ahram, investigations revealed both policemen raped her in the patrol car. They were both detained on Sunday for 15 days pending investigations.
In July, prosecutor-general Hisham Barakat ordered an investigation into allegations that a police officer raped an Al-Azhar university student at an Islamist protest last year. No developments in the case have since been reported.
In August, a German tourist reportedly complained that an Egyptian police officer had raped her and her mother in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada. The officer was arrested but released when the tourist dropped her complaint.
Rape can carry the death sentence in Egypt. Last month, four men received the death penalty for raping a woman in Kafr El-Sheikh city in the Nile Delta.
Some activists argue that sexual violence in Egypt is increasing. Attacks are underreported and rights groups have campaigned to raise awareness and to urge the authorities to introduce tougher laws and speed up legal procedures.
Growing awareness of mob sexual assaults, which typically take place in large crowds or at demonstrations, prompted the government to change the law in May to criminalise sexual harassment.