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Harassers Face 5 Years in Jail

It seems that the powers that be have finally taken steps to implement clear legislation and punishments to tackle Egypt's sexual harassment epidemic as a draft law is pending approval from the current cabinet.

Sexual harrassment could soon be stamped out thanks to new laws aimed at putting harrassers behind bars. The new bill defines a harasser as someone who “accosts others in a public or private place through following or stalking them, using gestures or words or through modern means of communication or in any other means through actions that carry sexual or pornographic hints.” An offender could serve between one and ten years in prison, and a fine of up to $2,866.

The law also stipulates three-to-five years in prison for those harassing females at their workplaces or schools, while those participating in mob harassment will receive sentencing of up to five years. The draft defines mob sexual harassment as an act when two or more individuals assault a woman. A person who sexually assaults a woman while holding a weapon will get a sentence of up to five years.

The proposed law has now been sent to the cabinet for approval. Government aide Ahmed el-Sergany said the draft will be revised by the cabinet before referring it to the president “soon.”

There is currently no Egyptian law outlining sexual harassment, except for three articles that were sometimes applied to cases of attacks on women.


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