Egypt court sentences 2 men to 2 years in prison for bullying Sudanese child

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Sunday 26 Jul 2020

The sentence comes a few weeks after Egypt set jail terms as penalties for bullying

A view of the High Court of Justice in Cairo, Egypt (Reuters)

A Giza misdemeanour court has sentenced two young men to two years in prison on Sunday for “bullying and assaulting” a Sudanese child.

The sentence comes a few weeks after Egypt set jail terms as penalties for bullying.

The bullying incident which took place in June was caught on video and sparked an outcry online. The viral video shows one of the defendants tossing a stone at the Sudanese child, who was walking in the working-class neighbourhood of Imbaba, while the other defendant filmed the incident. One of the defendants is also heard insulting the child over his nationality and colour.

The two men were convicted of “insulting” the child and “discriminating on the basis of origin,” thereby disturbing public peace. They were also found guilty of violating the right to privacy by posting the video online without the victim’s consent, as well as for stealing his personal belongings.

The court also fined the two defendants EGP 100,000 ($6,253).

The sentence can still be appealed.

The court’s ruling comes few weeks after the prosecution ordered the detention of the two defendants pending investigation.

A similar incident, which was also caught on film, took place in November 2019, where two young men are seen assaulting and berating a South Sudanese teenager wearing school uniform.

The video sparked anger on social media, with some users reporting the incident to the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood and the Ministry of Interior, calling for the arrest of the young men.

The men were arrested and later released after they reconciled with the South Sudanese student.

Earlier this month, Egypt approved draft amendments criminalising bullying in the country for the first time, introducing penalties including jail terms.

The new article to the country’s penal code defines bullying as a “show of force or control by the offender, or the abuse of a vulnerable victim,” or as an offence committed on the basis of gender, race, religion, physical attributes, health or mental status, or social class.

The penalties include a prison term of no less than six months and/or a fine ranging from EGP 10,000 to EGP 100,000.

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