Hotel worker arrested, charged with raping British tourist in Sharm: Security source

Ahram Online, Wednesday 26 Mar 2014

Arrest means alleged offenders from both sexual assault cases this month in Sharm El-Sheikh have been referred to prosecution

Egypt’s tourist police arrested on Wednesday a hotel employee accused of raping a British holidaymaker in South Sinai earlier this month.

A security source told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website that the arrested has been charged with “attempting to sexually assault a tourist during her visit at the hotel between 28 February and 6 March.”

Last Sunday, news reports circulated that a 40-year-old British businesswoman claimed she had been raped by a hotel worker during her visit to Sharm El-Sheikh on 6 March.

On Monday, Egypt's tourism ministry said it was investigating the case along with UK authorities.

Egypt's prosecutor-general Hisham Barakat opened an investigation into the rape allegations late on Tuesday after receiving a notification from INTERPOL.

The same day, a police officer was referred to criminal court for the attempted rape of a Russian tourist in the Red Sea resort town.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egypt's ministry of tourism revoked the licenses of two hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh – Hilton Sharks Bay Hotel and Sharm Holiday Resort – after sexual harassment incidents at both resorts were ignored by their management.

In May 2013, Egypt's tourism minister Hisham Zaazou told Ahram Online that hotels would be closed if staff were found to have sexually harassed tourists, behaviour that Zaazou said would negatively impact the country's reputation.

The tourism ministry has recorded 150 cases of sexual harassment against tourists over the last two years. There have also been three recorded rapes.

Egypt's tourism sector, which contributes around 11 percent of the country's GDP, has experienced a series of blows since the January 2011 uprising which toppled long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak. 

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