CAIRO, 25 February 2021 – Egypt’s Economic Court sentenced two people to two years in prison with labour for spreading videos involving the rape last May of an underaged Egyptian.
The two, Mazen Ibrahim and Shaimaa Shaker, were found guilty of uloading videos defying public morality for the posting of the rape which occurred last May.
The two were also fined $12,753.76 (EGP 200,000) in a civil lawsuit.
The victim of the rape in the video is TikToker Aya, more popularly known on social media platforms by the alias Menna Abdel-Aziz.
The 17-year-old TikToker made public her story in a live Instagram video in May 2020 in which she revealed that one of her friends had raped, beaten, and injured her.
She pleaded in the video for help from the government.
Two months later – in Joly 2020 – Egypt’s public prosecution referred six people to the criminal court on charges including kidnapping and sexually assaulting under-aged TikToker.
The two men sentenced by the Economic Court hosted a live event on Facebook and Instagram defending themselves and trash-talking the victim.
During the show, Mazen Ibrahim and Shaimaa Shake shared videos of the victim being sexually assaulted.
“There appear to be no official statistics for crimes of sexual violence against women because the victims of such violence refrain from reporting it out of fear of retaliation or shame,” a recent study (“Egypt: Sexual Violence Against Women”) concluded.
An alarmingly high 99.3 percent of Egyptian female respondents in a 2013 United Nations report (“Study on Ways and Methods to Eliminate Sexual Harassment in Egypt”) said they had been victims of sexual harassment (physical and verbal) in Egypt.
Egyptian women continue to be subject to female genital mutilation (FGM) at extremely high rates, with nine in ten women aged 15 to 49 admitting to have suffered FGM, according to a joint October 2015 demographic health survey conducted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), a domestic nongovernmental organization (NGO), and the Egyptian Ministry of Health.
Over the recent past, media outlets, women’s rights activists and victims of sexual assault and rape, relying on social media, have sought to used their personal stories as victims to call for serious action by the government as well as educate Egyptians on the common forms of violence against women.