Egyptian House approves draft law toughening penalty of sexual harassment



Mon, 12 Jul 2021 - 03:31 GMT


Mon, 12 Jul 2021 - 03:31 GMT

FILE - The Egyptian House of Representatives - Reuters

FILE - The Egyptian House of Representatives - Reuters

CAIRO – 12 July 2021: Egyptian House of Representatives gave a final approval to a draft law to toughen sexual harassment penalty so that it is treated before the law as a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

The draft law includes amendments submitted by the representative of the majority party, MP Ashraf Rashad, to increasing the period of imprisonment and the value of fines imposed on sexual harassment perpetrators.

According to the new amendments, whoever is convicted of assaulting others in public or private places through sexual or pornographic gestures will be handed an imprisonment sentence ranging from two to four years and/or will be fined LE 100,000 at least and LE 200,000 at most.

This comes within the framework of Article 306 bis A.

Those who are convicted of repeating the crime will be imprisoned from three to five years and/or fined LE 200,000-300,000. Repeating the crime means doubling the minimum and maximum fine and prison terms, according to the amendments.

Amendments stipulate that a sexual harassment convict who have job, family or educational authority over the victim will receive an imprisonment sentence of not less than seven years.

The same penalty is applied in case the crime is committed by two or more persons and if one of them at least is carrying a weapon.

There has been an awakening movement in the Egyptian society as many victims of harassment and rape rose to reveal their stories, and send assaulters to prison.

The government has also moved against such assaults boldly in the recent years, harshening the legal punishment on harassers and protecting women's rights. The social media has also played an effective and prominent role in emboldening women to report their cases.

In July, the Egyptian government ratified a draft law that guarantees the secrecy of testimonies made by victims of harassment, rape and sexual assault.

The law stipulates that violators, who uncover information about the victims or their testimonies, will be punished by imprisonment of no more than 6 months or a fine that does not exceed L.E. 500.

This came as part of the state’s keenness to maintain ethical principles at the time many victims are reluctant to report these crimes out of fear of harming their reputation.



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