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.


France’s Macron to host donor conference for blast-stricken Lebanon

Updated 21 min 47 sec ago

France’s Macron to host donor conference for blast-stricken Lebanon

  • Rebuilding Beirut could run into the billions of dollars
  • Economists forecast the blast could wipe up to 25% off of the country’s GDP

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron will host US President Donald Trump and other political leaders on Sunday for a UN-endorsed donors’ conference by video to raise emergency relief for Lebanon following this week’s massive explosion in Beirut.
Lebanon was already mired in deep political and economic crisis when the blast ripped through its main port on Tuesday, killing 158 people, injuring more than 6,000 and destroying a swathe of the city.
Rebuilding Beirut could run into the billions of dollars. Economists forecast the blast could wipe up to 25% off of the country’s GDP.
Many Lebanese are angry at the government’s response and say the disaster highlighted the negligence of a corrupt political elite. Protesters stormed government ministries in Beirut and trashed the offices of the Association of Lebanese Banks on Saturday.
Macron visited Beirut on Thursday, the first world leader to do so after the explosion, and promised the Lebanese people humanitarian aid would come but that profound political reform was needed to resolve the country’s problems and secure longer term support.
“I guarantee you, this (reconstruction) aid will not go to corrupt hands,” Macron told the throngs who greeted him.
There has been an outpouring of sympathy for Lebanon from around the world this week and many countries have sent immediate humanitarian support such as a medical supplies, but there has been an absence of aid commitments so far.
Trump will participate in the video-link conference.
“Everyone wants to help!” he tweeted.
Germany will commit an additional 10 million euros ($11.79 million) in emergency aid on top of the rescue contributions already underway, its foreign minister said.
A Macron aide declined on Saturday to set a target for the conference. Emergency aid was needed for reconstruction, food aid, medical equipment and schools and hospitals, the official said.
Representatives of Britain, the European Union, China, Russia, Egypt and Jordan are expected to join the conference, hosted by Macron from his summer retreat on the French Riviera. Israel and Iran will not take part, the Elysee Palace official said. ($1 = 0.8485 euros)