Egypt jails man for 8 years in #MeToo case

By: AFP      Published: 10:45 PM, 11 Apr, 2021
Egypt jails man for 8 years in #MeToo case

An Egyptian court Sunday sentenced a man to eight years in prison for sexually harassing three minors and drug possession, in a case that sparked outrage on social media.

Ahmed Bassam Zaki, a former student of some of Egypt's most elite schools and the American University in Cairo, was sentenced to seven years in jail for sexually harassing three underage girls and one year for drug possession, a judicial source said.

He can appeal the verdict, the source added.

Zaki, who is in his 20s, had already been sentenced in December to three years in prison for sexually harassing two young women by Egypt's economic court, which tries cyber crimes.

The court found he had sent sexual photos to one of the women and repeatedly contacted the other without her consent.

Claims against Zaki emerged online last year in the form of testimonies -- many from classmates -- published by the Instagram account Assault Police.

They included an alleged rape and dozens of instances of assault against girls and women, some involving blackmail.

Zaki was arrested on July 4 and confessed to assaulting and blackmailing six complainants, one of whom was a minor.

The case revived a #MeToo campaign in Egypt, where women complain of rampant sexual harassment, a criminal offence since 2014.

United Nations surveys say most women in the conservative country have been subject to harassment ranging from catcalling to pinching and groping or worse.