1. Egyptian activists held a rally against sexual harassment Saturday evening. But once more, they found themselves under attack. An AP photographer captured this image, of police ogling a young woman as she walked to the rally.
The officers were deployed to secure the protest against sexual harassment. The sign on the police van reads, in Arabic: “Your security is our duty, your safety is our target.”
2. Dozens gathered in Cairo and held signs calling for an end to harassment. Police initially stood by and then arrested two protesters for unlawful demonstrations under a new law in Egypt banning unapproved protests.
3. One of the groups that helped organize the rally confirmed the arrests of two of their members. They said the two were holding signs against police harassment.
4. Police also arrested two men who harassed women at the rally.
5. Sexual harassment and assault in Egypt have become endemic, according to human rights groups. In a recent survey by the UN, over 99% of Egyptian women said they had faced harassment at one point in their lives.
Calls for Egypt to tackle its sexual harassment problem have risen in recent weeks, spurred, in part, by a spate of attacks on women during festivities in Tahrir Square for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s inauguration.
At least five women were attacked, according to women’s rights groups in Egypt, and a graphic video uploaded to Twitter showing one of the attacks went viral in Egypt.
Sisi has taken a strong public stance against the harassment, staging his first photo-op as president at the bedside of one of the women who has attacked. In a video released by State Media, Sisi took responsibility for her attack, and vowed that he would use his office to crack down on harassment.
Egyptian prosecutors say they have already referred 13 men to trial for alleged attacks on women last week. The 13 accused, including a minor, are charged with “kidnapping, raping, sexually attacking, attempting to murder and torturing the women,” said a statement from the prosector’s office. If convicted of the charges, the defendants could be sentenced to life imprisonment.