Court - File photo
CAIRO – 1 August 2017: For the first time, Hend Abdel Sattar, an Egyptian girl succeeded to jail a Tok-tok driver for harassing her sexually in Helwan distract, Cairo, for five years in jail July 2017, a verdict described as “historical” by The National Council For Women (NCW).
Abdel Sattar got a judicial verdict jailing her harasser for 5 years in jail after a year of investigations and hearing sessions according to her Lawyer Tarek al-Awady’s post on Facebook on July 30. He added that “the final ruling is a message to every girl that she can walk in the street feeling safe.”
“I am proud of myself, I have never imagined that the final ruling will be five years in jail; I do not know what his family are going to do, but I am not scared,” Abdel Sattar said in a recorded video posted on her Facebook account shortly after hearing the verdict.
The incident goes back to a year before, specifically on Friday September 9, by 10:20 p.m., according to Abdel Sattar. She said in one of her recorded videos that she was walking in Helwan distract, when a tok-tok driver took her by surprise hitting and harassing her.
Abdel Sattar noticed the tok-tok plate number, and the driver’s face, and decided to head to Helwan police station to file a complaint against the harasser. Shorty later, the police officers caught him and started the investigations.
According to Abdel Sattar, the lawsuit’s title changed from sexual harassing to ‘rape’ as he grabbed her from ‘chastity parts’ of her body, which is legally has a different penalty that is more severe than a regular harassing penalty.
“In this case, the lawsuits penalties tighten to be within three to seven years in jail, instead of six months in the regular harassment cases,” Abdel Sattar explained.
“The harasser’s family tried to attack me and my family more than once. The last time was before the last session as his sister tried to threaten me minutes before the final verdict,” Abdel Sattar said.
In several videos and Facebook posts Abdel Sattar thanked dozens of people for supporting her even without knowing her personally. Abdel Sattar called all the girls who face similar sexual attacks not to give up on their rights and to claim it legally, so “by time we never witness these incidents again.”
The national council for women (NCW) issued a statement, Tuesday backing Abdel Sattar stance in the case, describing the verdict as “historical.” “For the first time, a historical rule against harassment in Egypt,” the statement read.
NCW head, Maya Morsi said in her statement that she is proud of Abdel Sattar, who stood “strong and bold” in a situation many other girls feel afraid and ashamed.
Abdel Sattar is the first Egyptian girl who succeeded to take a verdict against her harasser since tightening the sexual harassment penalty in June 2014 according to the NCW statement.
Sexual harassment incidents are frequently repeated in the Egyptian society; however not all the girls prefer to take legal steps fearing social labeling.
According to the UN women statistics 2013, about 99.3 percent of women face harassment in Egypt sexually and verbally.
Most of the sexual harassment incidents against women used to take place during feasts and inside the crowded places. On June 25, seventeen men were arrested in Alexandria for harassing women near cinemas and public parks during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, as another four men were arrested for verbally harassing women in Cairo’s Fustat National Park.
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