File Photo: Egypt's Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali in 204. (Photo: Reuters)
A Cairo adminstrative prosecutor ordered on Saturday an investigation into possible child abuse at a Cairo orphanage after a video went viral on Friday online where what sounds like a child is heard screaming from inside the orphanage over being forced to bathe in cold water in the early morning hours.
Earlier on Saturday, Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali referred an orphanage employee to the prosecution after the ministry conducted an on-site investigation of the facility.
The video was recorded from the window of a neighbour of the Fifth Settlement branch of Dar Al-Orman orphanage.
In the five-minute footage, what sounds like a child inside the orphanage can be heard screaming and arguing with an adult woman about being forced to bathe in cold water.
The prosecution said it will investigate to determine the authenticity of the video and hold any possible wrongdoers accountable.
Minister Wali said that the orphanage has been closed, with the children transferred to other facilities, pending completion of renovation and maintenance work at the facility.
According to the person who filmed the video, this was not the first time she heard screams from inside the orphanage.
The ministry said that the board of directors of Dar Al-Orman, which is considered one of the largest charity groups in the country, is cooperating with the investigation.
In a statement on Saturday, Dar Al-Orman condemned the reported actions of its employee, and thanked the person who captured the incident, stressing its belief that all orphans in Egypt must be provided with a safe environment..
In recent months, several Egyptian orphanages were shut down following reports of abuse against children, including one Nasr City orphanage shuttered in November after reports of girls being burned with hot metal.