Egyptian court delivers life sentences for sexual assault

Seven men were given life sentences and two others 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting women at election celebrations for Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi in June.
By JC Finley  |  July 16, 2014 at 6:06 PM
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CAIRO, July 16 (UPI) -- An Egyptian court sentenced seven men to life in prison for sexually assaulting women in Cairo at election celebrations for President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi last month. Two others were given 20 year sentences.

There were at least nine documented incidents of sexual assault and harassment during election and inauguration celebrations in and around Tahrir Square between June 3 and 8.

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior announced in June that seven men, between the ages of 15 and 49, had been arrested for sexual harassment. It is unclear whether those men were the same men sentenced Wednesday.

Following Sisi's inauguration, a two-minute video emerged showing a bruised woman being stripped in Tahrir Square and attacked by a group of men, police officers struggling to reach her and the woman eventually being carried to a waiting vehicle.

The assaults in June came on the heels of the Egyptian government declaring sexual harassment a crime punishable by a minimum six-month jail term and a fine of $420, with higher penalties for employers and repeat offenders.

A 2013 United Nations study found that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women have been sexually harassed.

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