Egypt’s Cabinet (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt’s cabinet approved on Wednesday a bill proposed by the justice ministry to keep the identity of victims of sexual assault and harassment confidential.
According to the draft law, the identities of the victims of sexual crimes are not to be publicly disclosed, and can only be revealed to the court and to defendants upon request.
“Any party that discloses confidential information about the victims shall be punished under Article 310 of the penal code,” the Ministry of Justice said in a statement.
The ministry pointed out that some sexual harassment victims have recently refrained from reporting such crimes in fear of doing harm to their reputation.
Victims of sexual assault are often stigmatised in the conservative society.
The bill comes amid an ongoing investigation by the prosecutor-general into allegations of rape, sexual harassment and blackmail made by dozen of women and girls against a young man by the name of Ahmed Bassam Zaki.
Zaki, who was arrested on Saturday, is in detention pending investigation.