In Egypt, complaints against sexual harassment could land you in jail

Nduta Waweru May 13, 2018 at 07:00am

May 13, 2018 at 07:00 am | Women

Nduta Waweru

Nduta Waweru | Contributor

May 13, 2018 at 07:00 am | Women

Amal Fathy. Photo: Facebook

An Egyptian activist was on Friday arrested for complaining about sexual harassment on social media.

Amal Fathy had hit out against national institutions for failing to protect women from sexual harassment and called out the failing state of human rights in the country.

The 33-year-old mother was arrested and accused of ‘insulting all the institutions of the state” and undermining patriotism, according to state security.

Fathy was arrested together with her husband, Mohamed Lotfy, who is a former Amnesty International researcher and the current director of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, according to Amnesty International.

They were taken to the police station together with their three-year-old child. Lofty and their daughter were later released but Fadhy was detained until the prosecutor looked into her case.

“Amal Fathy criticised the Egyptian government for failing to protect women, and her arrest has shown just how pertinent her concerns are. It is a dark day when the Egyptian authorities are more concerned with silencing a woman who speaks out about sexual harassment than taking steps to address the issue,” Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International said.

The rights organisation calls for the unconditional release of the activist because her ‘detention for peacefully expressing her opinions is an affront to the freedom of expression guaranteed by Egypt’s own constitution’.

Egypt is one of Africa’s countries with the highest rates of sexual harassment.

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