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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Egyptian lawyer Nabih El-Wahsh referred to court on charges of inciting sexual harassment

The conservative lawyer and TV host said it was a 'patriotic duty' to harass and even rape girls who wear ripped jeans that expose their behinds

Ahram Online , Sunday 26 Nov 2017
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Snapshot of Nabih El-Wahsh speaking during the controversial interview on Al-Asema TV
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Cairo's prosecution referred Lawyer Nabih El-Wahsh to the State Security Misdemeanor Court on Sunday on charges of disrupting the civil peace and harming the public interest by inciting sexual harassment against women.
 
The charges relate to comments the lawyer made during a TV talk-show in October.
 
The court set a date of 2 December for the first session in the trial of El-Wahsh.
 
Last month, the controversial, self-proclaimed conservative lawyer appeared as a guest on a TV show aimed at debating laws to combat prostitution and debauchery.
 
During the show, El-Wahsh advanced the argument that the sexual harassment and rape of girls who wear ripped jeans and "expose their posterior" amounted to a "national duty".
 
El-Wahsh's statements sparked outrage among women's rights activists and large sections of the general public.
 
Following his commments, a number of Egyptian women MPs called on the country's High Council of Media to take action against "irresponsible voices" that demean Egyptian women on TV.
 
In 2014, changes to the Egyptian penal code criminalized sexual harassment and stipulated punishments for perpetrators, including jail sentences and fines. The law now punishes those who commit sexual assault with prison terms of three to seven years.
 
Several days after his controversial comments, El-Wahsh attempted to back-track, telling anchor Wael El-Ebrashi on Dream TV that his words were meant only as a "warning" to those who wear ripped jeans.
 
On Saturday, the Higher Council of Media, the government body tasked with regulating media content and performance, banned El-Wahsh from making TV and media appearances. 
 
El-Wahsh has been known for his degrading statements and stances on women in recent years. 
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