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Egypt prosecution orders policeman arrested on sexual harassment charges

The tourist allegedly subjected to the harassment rejects the complaint stirred by a worker at the Abu Simbel Temple

Ahram Online, Tuesday 1 Apr 2014
Abu Simbel
Tourists and visitors queue outside the temple of Abu Simbel at the upper reaches of the Nile in Aswan, around 1264 km (785 miles) south of Cairo February 22, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's Aswan prosecution ordered on Tuesday the four-day detention of a policeman pending investigation into his alleged sexual harassment of a tourist from the Philippines during her visit to the Abu Simbel Temple.

The order came after the Abu Simbel tourist police filed a complaint based on the account of one of the temple employees who said he saw the incident on security camera.

Initial investigations revealed that the 33-year-old tourist asked the policeman to stand in a picture with her in front of the temple. He approved and accordingly put his arm around her while posing for the camera.

The tourist rejected both the employee's accusation and the formal complaint.

Last Tuesday, the licenses of two hotels in Egypt's Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh were revoked by the Ministry of Tourism after sexual harassment cases occurring at the hotels were ignored by their managements.

The decision came after a holidaymaker, a British businesswoman in her 40s, told the Daily Mail earlier last month she had been raped by a security guard in an unnamed five-star hotel in Sharm El-Sheikh.

The ministry directed the head of Egypt's Chamber of Travel Agencies to take immediate legal action against any tourism worker who sexually harasses a tourist by filing a case at the office of the General Prosecution detailing the abuse reported by the victim.

The ministry additionally requested the chamber provide it with a copy of any future report, including the name of the touristic venue where the abuse took place.

According to an April 2013 study by the United Nations, Egypt's Demographic Centre and the National Planning Institute, more than 99 percent of the hundreds of women interviewed in seven of Egypt's 27 governorates had experienced some form of sexual harassment, ranging from minor incidents to rape.

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