Egypt passes law protecting sex abuse victims’ identity


The Egyptian parliament has approved a law that will protect the identity of women who come forward to report cases of sexual harassment or assault.

The law, which will give victims the automatic right to anonymity, was approved by the cabinet early in July and submitted to parliament after being presented by the justice ministry.

It followed a widely-published case of a university student from a wealthy background who was arrested and accused of raping and blackmailing multiple women. Investigations are continuing.

The case triggered a #MeToo wave in Egypt with the National Council for Women saying it received 400 complaints, mainly about violence against women within five days of the case being made public and hundreds of women started to share stories online.

The debate escalated further after an Instagram page revealed a gang rape case in a Cairo hotel, with the six men involved believed to be from powerful, rich families.

Research suggests that abuse is widespread in Egypt and a 2017 Thomson Reuters Foundation poll found Cairo to be the most dangerous megacity for women.

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