Over 100 university students accuse Egyptian man of rape

In this Aug. 20, 2012 file photo, an Egyptian youth, trailed by his friends, gropes a woman crossing the street with her friends in Cairo, Egypt. (AP)
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Updated 03 July 2020

Over 100 university students accuse Egyptian man of rape

  • MP asks attorney general to monitor case amid online uproar

CAIRO: A 22-year-old Egyptian man has been accused via social media of sexually assaulting and harassing more than 100 females over the course of several years. Egyptian authorities are being asked to open an investigation into the allegations.

The accusations originated from a group of around 100 female students at the American University in Cairo (AUC), who used their Twitter accounts to accuse the man — who was previously a student at the university — of sexual harassment and abuse as well as blackmail.

AUC said the man, whom Arab News has chosen not to name, left the university in 2018 and stressed that it is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all members of the university’s community and does not tolerate sexual harassment.

One woman claimed that the man had molested her and her sister when they were between the ages of 13 and 14, and threatened to publish fabricated images of them if they did not do as he asked.

Another student said the man had harassed, chased and threatened her and that he said he would tell her family that she had slept with him — she denies having done so. She wrote that he wanted to blackmail her into submitting to his demands.

One woman claimed the man has a history of predatory sexual behavior dating back to when he was a child, and said he had repeatedly moved schools because of complaints about his harassment of female students. The same person claimed the man’s father used his social influence to ensure his son was able to transfer between schools both in Egypt and overseas so he could complete his education.

She said that when the man arrived at AUC he continued to harass and assault women. After befriending them, she claimed, he would assault them at his family’s villa. He allegedly photographed some of these assaults and would use the pictures to blackmail the women into submitting to further abuse.

Earlier this week a group of women created an Instagram account called assaultpolice, through which they have so far collected 150 accusations against the man and testimonies from victims of his alleged assaults. They have also collected texts and voice messages that the man allegedly sent to some of his victims.

As social media users called for the man to be arrested, it emerged that rumors of a rapist at AUC had surfaced among the university’s internal social media groups. At the time, some claimed that the man concerned was undergoing treatment for mental illness and that such claims could push him to commit suicide.

After those claims surfaced, the man apparently transferred to university in Barcelona. Some have said that the man’s father threatened the women making the accusations, but that they contacted his new university and sent screenshots of the threats they had received, leading to his suspension from that university.

On Friday, accusations that the same student had also raped a young man emerged.

According to some Egyptian media outlets, the security services have opened an investigation into the case.

MP Mohamed Fouad has submitted a request to the attorney general asking him to follow up on the case, and has also asked the public prosecution to look into the accusations.

Fouad also asked the National Council for Women (NCW) to look into the story and to provide psychological and legal support to the victims of the man’s alleged harassment, extortion and rape.

The NCW, headed by Maya Morsy, issued a statement saying that it would follow up on the issue and calling on the concerned authorities to investigate the matter and take the necessary measures.

The council also called on all women who fell victim to the harasser to file an official charge against the man “so that he receives the punishment that he deserves according to the law.”

“It will serve as an example,” the NCW said.


Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

Updated 03 August 2020

Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

  • Nassif Hitti submits resignation to the prime minister and leaves government house without making any comments
  • Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Hassan Diab’s government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.
Minister Nassif Hitti’s submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.
A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was was reportedly unhappy with the government’s performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.
Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.
It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.
Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Diab’s government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.