Egypt’s prosecution detains 3, places 10 under probation for harassing tourists

Ahram Online , Monday 9 May 2022

Egypt’s prosecution ordered the detention of three teenagers pending investigation and placed 10 others in a probation hostel on charges of harassing two foreign girls at the Giza Pyramids during Eid El-Fitr holiday.

General Prosecution

The prosecution stated on Monday that the 13 teens, between 13 and 15 year-old, are accused of verbally and physically harassing the two tourists.

A legal source told Ahram Online that the three detained teens are the main defendants in the case.

Police had arrested the teens earlier this week shortly after a 38-second-long video clip went viral on social media in Egypt showing a group of teens following and harassing two tourists at the Pyramids.

The video showed the two girls running in fear after a large number of teens had approached and pursued them at the Giza Pyramids area. The tour guide who shot the video said he wanted the video to reach the minister of tourism.

According to police reports, the 13 teens had admitted the offence during investigations, the prosecution’s Monday statement read, but they denied the accusations when interrogated by the prosecution.

Two of the teens who appeared in the video said they only wanted to take photos with the two girls, the statement continued.

The tour guide identified two of the teens and failed to identify the others, the prosecution said.

The prosecution’s decision to detain the defendants and place the others in a probation hostel was taken to allow the authorities to collect biometric data of the arrested teens and compare them to the data of those who appeared in the video to determine resemblance and consider their release, the statement added.

The tour guide said he was tasked by the company he works for with accompanying the two tourists while visiting the Pyramids when a group of teens asked to take photos with them and then harassed them verbally and physically.

The guide said he shot the video to raise the awareness of the public against such actions. He affirmed that he, and another tour guide who helped him spread the video, did not mean any harm to the country’s national security or economy and did not seek to create a wrong impression about Egypt.

In August last year, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi approved amendments that stiffen penalties against sexual harassment in public or private places whether by gesture, words, or action. The amendments apply to harassment perpetrated through the use of electronic devices.

The amendments, which turn the sexual harassment crime from a misdemeanour to a felony, include a prison term ranging from two to four years and a fine ranging from EGP 100,000 to EGP 200,000 against sexual harassers. A minimum of seven years in prison will also be handed to violators if they hold occupational or familial authority over the victim.

Amended Article 306 of the penal code imposes a prison sentence of no less than one year in jail and a fine between EGP 10,000 and EGP 20,000.

Repeated offenders can face double the prison time.

In recent years, the interior ministry has deployed female police officers to the street to combat sexual harassment during Eid holidays.

In August 2020, parliament passed a law to keep the identity of victims of sexual assault and harassment confidential to protect their reputation and encourage them to file police reports.

Short link: