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Egypt concludes #MeToo case by sentencing man to 8 years for sexually harassing minors

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A woman with the word 'No' painted on her palm attends a rally in New York City, US, October 3, 2018. AFP/Spencer Platt/Files
  • Ahmed Bassam Zaki sentenced to 7 years in jail by Egypt court for sexually harassing 3 underage girls and 1 year for drug possession.
  • Zaki is a former student of some of Egypt's most elite schools and the American University in Cairo.
  • Claims against Zaki emerged online last year via testimonies of alleged rape and dozens of instances of assault against girls and women.

CAIRO: A court in Egypt on Sunday sentenced to eight years in jail a man who sexually harassed three minors and was found in possession of drugs in a case that revived the #MeToo movement in Egypt and sparked outrage on social media.

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

Zaki, who is in his 20s, can appeal the verdict, the source added. He 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.

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


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