Assault row presenter jailed in Egypt
A TV presenter in Egypt has been jailed for ‘violating the privacy’ of an assault victim interviewed on her show.
Reham Saeed was sentenced to a year in jail for the interview, in which she suggested a sexual harassment victim deserved her fate.
Her guest had uploaded footage to Facebook of an assault by her harasser after police failed to prosecute him.
But Saeed aired private pictures of her guest in what she called “revealing clothes”, including a bikini.
The assault on the victim in a shopping mall last October was captured on closed-circuit television.
In the footage, a man and woman walk into frame and appear to argue. The man then reaches out and slaps the woman, before being restrained by mall security and onlookers. The woman in the footage complained to the police that the man was sexually harassing her.
The video was then viewed hundreds of thousands of times online.
In one of many television appearances, the woman spoke to Saeed on her show on the private al-Nahar network.
Saeed asked her: “Do you think you were dressed appropriately?” before launching a monologue blaming the victim. On the day of the assault, the victim had been wearing jeans and a sleeveless top.
The guest then filed a legal complaint against the the network, and Saeed’s show Sabaya al-Khair (Charity Girls) was briefly suspended.
Saeed was then the target of a hate campaign on social media. Tens of thousands of tweets including a hashtag that translates as “Die Reham” were posted, many showing depictions of Saeed dying.
As well as handing out a jail sentence on Monday, a court in Giza fined Saeed 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,277; £917), but she retains the right to appeal.
Al-Ahram reported that the guest’s attacker was eventually sentenced to one month in jail, but that the sentence was reduced to two weeks on appeal in February.
A recent UN report said that more than 99% of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual assault. In June 2013, the government introduced a law including new punishments designed to crack down on sexual harassment.
February 29th, 2016