A view of the High Court of Justice in Cairo, Egypt (Reuters)
Egypt’s prosecutor-general has ordered the detention of five defendants pending investigations into two separate incidents of assault against persons with disabilities.
The prosecution said in a statement that it has seen a video showing three teenagers assaulting a 62-year-old victim with a disability in Upper Egypt’s Sohag.
Two of the teenagers are seen mocking the man in the video, and another pushes him into a canal as they laugh, the prosecution said. The teens also threw rocks and garbage to stop the man from climbing back to land.
The prosecution charged the three teenagers with endangering the safety and security of a person with a disability, violating the family principles of society and violating the victim’s privacy.
The statement added that the prosecution has also ordered the detention of two other boys in Qalioubiya for assaulting a person with a disability, videotaping the incident and posting it on social media.
The prosecution charged them with bullying the victim by exploiting his mental state, endangering his safety and life, and violating family principles.
Egypt has recently started to take steps to raise public awareness about the negative impact of bullying.
In July, laws criminalising bullying were passed in the country for the first time, introducing penalties including jail terms.
The new article to the country’s penal code defines bullying as a “show of force or control by the offender, or the abuse of a vulnerable victim,” or as an offence committed on the basis of gender, race, religion, physical attributes, health or mental status, or social class.
The penalties include a prison term of no less than six months and/or a fine ranging from EGP 10,000 to EGP 100,000.