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Egyptian police officer charged with attempted rape of Russian tourist

Second incident of sexual assault this month for the Red Sea resort town draws action from prosecutor-general and tourism ministry

Ahram Online, Tuesday 25 Mar 2014
File Photo: Tourists enjoy the sun at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh December 7, 2010 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's prosecutor-general has referred a police officer working in South Sinai to a criminal court for the attempted rape of a Russian tourist in Sharm El-Sheikh.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the prosecutor-general's office, the incident in question refers to a police report received on 15 March.

A Russian tourist was sleeping in her hotel room when Ibrahim Ismail, an officer in South Sinai's tourism police, snuck in from the balcony and then tried to rape her, according to the statement.

The Russian tourist resisted Ismail and screamed, and succeeded in pushing him out of her room. She reported the incident to authorities the next day.

The statement did not specify in which hotel the attack took place.

The officer's trial will take place in Ismailia, the nearest criminal court to the Red Sea resort town.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egypt's ministry of tourism revoked the licenses of two hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh – Hilton Sharks Bay Hotel and Sharm Holiday Resort – after sexual harassment incidents at both resorts were ignored by their management.

The prosecutor-general's office on Tuesday stressed that it still has not received any official report regarding this week's alleged rape of a British woman in Sharm El-Sheikh.

British press revealed on Sunday that a 40-year-old British businesswoman said she had been raped by a security guard at a five-star hotel.

Egypt's tourism minister said on Monday that it was investigating the case along with UK authorities.

In May 2013, Egypt's tourism minister Hisham Zaazou told Ahram Online that hotels would be closed if staff were found to have sexually harassed tourists, behaviour that Zaazou said would negatively impact the country's reputation.

The tourism ministry has recorded 150 cases of sexual harassment against tourists over the last two years. There have also been three recorded rapes.

Egypt's tourism sector, which contributes around 11 percent of the country's GDP, has experienced a series of blows since the January 2011 uprising which toppled long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak.


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