Egypt court sentences worker to 15 years in prison for sexual assault

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Saturday 11 Jul 2020

Egypt's Court of Cassation (Photo: Al-Ahram)

An Upper Egypt criminal court handed on Saturday a 15-year imprisonment sentence to a man for "sexually assaulting" a woman in the conservative governorate of Qena.

The case dates back to February 2020 when the 22-year-old woman filed a complaint accusing a worker of sexual assault and harassment as she walked in a street at a Qena village.

The worker, who groped the woman, was charged with sexual assault and harassment by the prosecution.

The sentence is not final and can be appealed at the Court of Cassation.

According to the Egyptian penal code, rape and sexual assault can be punished with jail terms of up to a life sentence. The addition of aggravating circumstances could lead to the death penalty.

Saturday’s sentence comes as Egypt ups efforts against sexual harassment amid an ongoing investigation by the prosecutor-general into allegations of rape, sexual harassment and blackmail made by dozens of women and girls against a young man by the name of Ahmed Bassam Zaki.

The controversial case has pushed the cabinet to approve last week a bill proposed by the justice ministry to keep the identity of victims of sexual assault and harassment confidential.

According to the draft law, the identities of the victims of sexual crimes are not to be publicly disclosed, and can only be revealed to the court and to defendants upon request.

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