Egypt Courtroom Sentences Ex-Scholar to three Years in #MeToo Case

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court docket on Tuesday convicted a former scholar at an elite college of sexual misconduct fees and sentenced him to a few years in jail, the primary conviction in a case that has fueled the #MeToo motion within the Arab world’s most populous nation.

The Cairo Financial Courtroom convicted Ahmed Bassam Zaki, a former scholar at American College in Cairo, of blackmailing and sexually harassing two ladies.

Mr. Zaki is being tried individually in felony court docket on fees of rape and tried rape of three different ladies who have been minors on the time of the alleged crimes, based on the court docket paperwork. As well as, he faces drug possession fees.

Tuesday’s verdict might be appealed to a better court docket.

Mr. Zaki was arrested in July after allegations towards him surfaced on social media, leading to a firestorm of criticism. The #MeToo motion goals to carry accountable these concerned in sexual misconduct and those that cowl it up.

A number of makes an attempt on the time to contact Mr. Zaki’s household and his lawyer have been unsuccessful.

In accordance with accusations posted on social media, Mr. Zaki would mine a pool of mutual associates on Fb, on-line teams or faculty golf equipment, for females to focus on.

He would begin with flattery, then stress the ladies and ladies to share intimate pictures that he later used to blackmail them with if they didn’t have intercourse with him, based on the accusations. In some situations he threatened to ship compromising footage to members of the family.

Mr. Zaki hails from a rich household and studied on the American Worldwide College, one among Egypt’s costliest non-public excessive colleges, and the American College in Cairo. AUC officers mentioned he left the college in 2018.

Mr. Zaki’s case, activists say, exhibits that misogyny cuts throughout Egypt’s stark class strains. Many in Egypt have beforehand portrayed sexual harassment as an issue of poor city youth.

Sexual assault and harassment are deep-seated issues in Egypt, the place victims should additionally combat the undercurrent of a conservative tradition that sometimes ties feminine chastity to a household’s fame. In courts, the burden of proof lies closely on the victims of such crimes.

The allegations towards the previous scholar have been collected the Instagram account @assaultpolice. Since then, the account has performed an important position in revealing an alleged gang rape that shook Egyptian society in current weeks.

Allegations of sexual misconduct have additionally emerged towards a number of rights activists and outstanding journalists, however these allegations haven’t made their solution to courts.

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