Egypt's Prosecutor-General Hamada El-Sawy
Egypt's prosecution ordered the arrest of men accused of sexually assaulting a girl at Cairo's Fairmont Hotel in 2014, the prosecution stated on Monday.
The prosecution issued a travel ban for the defendants who were also put on watch lists to be interrogated, the statement added.
The incident, dating back to August 2014, has surfaced in July on social media following a series of posts published on an anonymous Instagram account accusing a group of young men of being involved in a gang rape following a dance party at the luxurious hotel.
The incident has been under investigation by the Egyptian prosecution since 4 August when the country's Prosecutor-General Hamada El-Sawy ordered the investigation into the alleged crime upon a letter he received from the National Council of Women on the same day.
The letter detailed a complaint sent to the council by a woman alleging she was raped by several people at the Fairmont Nile City Hotel in Cairo in August 2014. It included testimonies of other people concerning the incident.
In its Monday statement, the prosecution revealed that it questioned the victim and a number of witnesses.
"The investigations are still ongoing," the statement added.
The statement did not expand on the number or names of the accused individuals.
The online allegations claimed the young men hail from families of prominent businessmen.
The incident has gained widespread attention on social media, especially on Twitter and Facebook, with hashtags in Arabic and English, including “#Fairmont incident,” going viral.
In statements to AFP in late July, the Fairmont Nile City Hotel administration said there is an ongoing internal investigation into the allegation.
This is the second sexual assault case that has caused outrage in the past two months in Egypt, after the recent accusations against alleged serial rapist Ahmed Bassam Zaki.
Zaki was arrested in early July after dozens of women took to social media to accuse him of rape, sexual assault, and blackmail.
Zaki is facing charges of attempting to have sex with two females, including a minor, without their consent. He is also accused of using blackmail to coerce women into granting him sexual favours.
Zaki is currently detained pending investigation.