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Lebanese woman victim of sexual harassment sentenced to prison in Egypt

10-7-2018

After Egypt’s Public Prosecutor referred last May the Lebanese citizen Mona Mazbouh to criminal trial for insulting the Egyptian people by posting a video accusing them of sexual harassment and theft (c.f: https://bit.ly/2J8wkvl), the Egyptian Misdemeanour Court on Saturday sentenced Mazbouh to 8 years in prison after being found guilty for defaming the country and its citizens, undermining society and attacking religions. On the subject, Al Akhbar newspaper wrote yesterday that Mazbouh’s case lays bare the issue of sexual harassment in the North African state, whether victims were Egyptians or others. This phenomenon, the newspaper said, has transcended the street to the workplace, parks, transport and restaurants, to move in touristic resorts and air, land and sea ports and become part of the daily customs. Al Akhbar recalled a legislation enacted by the government back in 2014 which penalizes the person involved in sexual harassment with fines reaching 50,000 Egyptian pounds (USD 2750) and imprisonment from 6 months up to 5 years in an attempt to curtail the phenomenon. However, Al Akhbar went on to say, Egypt remains one of the worst countries in the world for women in terms of sexual harassment, concluding that, the case of Mazbouh reveals a sweeping culture that ‘blames the victims’, which is an attitude the Egyptian people have settled into. (Al Akhbar, July 9, 2018)

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