'La lel taharosh' No for sexual harassment - Photo courtesy of Doaa el-Adl
CAIRO - 28 July 2020: The Arts Academy, headed by Ashraf Zaki, issued an official statement regarding the information recently circulated on social mediaabout girls who were subjected to harassment inside the academy.
The academy’s administration announced in the statement that the academy’s regulations protect female students from any harassment attempt and it will not allow this to happen.
The statementalso confirmed that the administration is fully prepared to receive any complaints by male and female students, and has promised to maintain full confidentiality of the complaint and investigations.
"None of the female students of the academyhas submitted a complaint of this kind, which would have been met with great determination totakeall legal measures against anyone who commits this crime," the statement added.
The statement affirmed supporting male and female students ofthe academy and promised them to respond promptly to any submitted complaint. "Our sonsare the youth of tomorrow, the protectors of the nation, and our daughters are the future of our families;their protection atops our priorities," the statement concluded.
It is noteworthy that Egyptian female students at the Higher Institute of Cinema conducted a survey over the past 2 weeks on sexual harassment at the institute, revealing that 56.7 percent of 157 students suffered from sexual harassment.
On July 23, they created a petition to call for an anti-harassment policy at the institute to preserve their rights.
The National Council for Women in Egypt issued an urgent statement to support the efforts of female students to expose the molesters, praising the statement of the Egyptian Academy of Arts and the rapid response ofEgyptian Minister of CultureEnas Abdel Dayem.
"The National Council for Women, headed by Maya Morsy, and all its members extend sincere thanks, appreciation, and gratitude to Enas Abdel Dayem, minister of culture, for her quick response to the complaints of students of the High Cinema Institute who have been subjected to harassment attempts inside the Institute."
Morsy praised the official statement issued by the president of the Academy of Arts and expressed her great happiness withthis respectable move by the minister of culture and the academy administration to combat harassment and protect students, while maintaining the confidentiality of their data to preserve their rights, and encourage them to file complaints.
"This is the role required of those in charge of all educational and other institutions in the country," Morsy said, wishing that all institutions would follow the example of the Academy of Arts in this step worthy of respect and appreciation to protect Egyptian girls from sexual harassment.
Since the beginning of July, there has been a wave of exposure of sexual predators on Egyptian social media, following the case of Ahmed Bassam Zaki who was accused of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment of more than 50 Egyptian and foreign women.
CAIRO - 7 July 2020: Egypt's General Prosecutor has officially ordered the detainment of accused rapist and sexual harasser Ahmed Bassam Zaki for four days pending investigation, an official statmenet by the General Prosecution's Office said on Monday.
After Zaki’s arrest, Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly approved a legislative amendment in the criminal code to protect the identities of victims of harassment, rape, and assault during court cases.
The amendment enables prosecutors to conceal the data of victims coming forward with their reports to protect them from possible retribution from perpetrators or external parties.
The decision was praised by many, including the National Council of Women, with hopes that it will encourage more victims of sexual crimes to expose sexual predators.
Most recently, Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church’s spokesperson announced that Pope Tawadros II has decided to defrock priest Rewiess Aziz Khalil, following allegations of sexual abuse and pedophilia.
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