YouTube removes videos that identify Egyptian sexual assault victim

Ahram Online, Saturday 14 Jun 2014

The woman was sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square last week

A presidential spokesman announced Saturday that upon the request of Egyptian authorities, YouTube have removed videos identifying a sexual assault victim in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

YouTube has removed all scenes through which the victim could be identified, Ihab Badawy said.

On Thursday, Egyptian authorities asked the popular video-sharing website to remove the footage after the victim of the assault asked President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi --during his visit to her in hospital -- to have the video removed, saying her daughter broke down whenever she watched it.

The video clip shows a naked woman with visible bruises on her backside, encircled by a group of men, including a policeman, who escort her to a nearby ambulance.

According to British daily The Independent, YouTube has only removed copies of the video where the woman can be identified. 

Videos that blur her image will remain on the site as "the company considers them to be newsworthy.”

“We respect an individual's right to privacy and have always removed videos entirely where there is a privacy complaint and an individual is clearly identifiable,” YouTube said in a statement reported by the Independent.

On Saturday, 13 suspected sexual harassers were sent to criminal court on charges of attempted rape and murder relating to a number of mob assaults in Tahrir. Among the defendants was a 15-year-old who faces charges of recording and publishing a video that breaches public decency.


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