First Verdict in Cases of Mob-Sexual Assault and Gang Rape in Tahrir Square is No End to the Story; All Previous Crimes of Sexual Violence must be Investigated

In Statements and Position Papers by CIHRS

s620142513380The ruling of the South Cairo Criminal Court on July 16th 2014 against 7 defendants in the Mob-Sexual Assault and Gang Rape incidents, which took place in Tahrir Square on June 8th 2014 during celebrations of the inauguration of the new Egyptian President, is an initial step in the process of holding perpetrators accountable through prosecution and putting an end to several years of impunity; reflecting the State’s recognition of these crimes.

The undersigned organizations and groups stress the importance of holding to account and duly prosecution the perpetrators of previous crimes, including more than 500 cases documented between June 2012 and January 2014; as well as the need for completing prosecution proceedings for Crimes of Sexual Violence which have become rampant in Egyptian Society; and the necessity for announcing the National Strategy, whose launch was reported last week, and engaging feminist organizations in its design.

The sentences of July 16th 2014 were issued against 7 defendants: life imprisonment for 2 defendants and 20 years for 1 defendant in case 6330/2014 Qasr El-Nil Felonies, life imprisonment for 4 defendants and 20 years for 2 defendants in case 6326/2014 Qasr El-Nil Felonies life imprisonment for 3 defendants in case 982/2013 Qasr El-Nil Felonies, and life imprisonment for 3 defendants case 6328/2014 Qasr El-Nil Felonies. The charges for which these sentences were imposed comprise: forced molestation, thuggery and show of force, robbery, kidnapping, and unlawful detention. The undersigned organizations and groups understand that these sentences can be appealed by cassation in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The undersigned organizations and groups are concerned that the Crimes of Sexual Violence file will be closed upon the issuing of these sentences, without taking serious steps to pursue the completion of this file through comprehensive investigation of the previously mentioned Crimes of Sexual Violence; providing for strategic responses to these crimes through designing and implementing mechanisms to ensure accountability and provision of necessary services to survivors; the State bearing its responsibility to address this serious phenomenon which undermines the effective participation of women in the public sphere in a way which protects their right to physical integrity; or taking the necessary legislative steps to provide for comprehensive and realistic definitions of Crimes of Sexual Violence in the Egyptian Penal Code.

This verdict should be considered as a beginning for reforming the legal system and State agencies to deal with cases of Sexual Violence, which have become prevalent in the Egyptian Society, and providing for the due prosecution and fair trial of the perpetrators of these crimes.

Signatories

1- Nazra for Feminist Studies

  1. “Daughters of Egypt are a Red Line” Movement
  2. “I saw Harassment” Initiative
  3. Anti Harassment Movement
  4. Appropriate Communication Techniques for Development (ACT)
  5. Arab Network for Human Rights Information
  6. Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)
  7. Cairo Center for Development
  8. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  9. Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance
  10. Daughter of the Land Association
  11. Egyptian Association for Family Development
  12. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
  13. El-Nadim Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture
  14. Harassmap
  15. Imprint Movement
  16. Legal Foundation for Family Assistance and Human Rights
  17. Misryon against Religious Discrimination
  18. New Woman Foundation
  19. Operation Anti Sexual Harassment (OpAntiSh)
  20. Tahrir Bodyguards Movement
  21. The Egyptian Foundation for the Advancement of Childhood Conditions
  22. The Egyptian Women Union
  23. The Women and Memory Forum
  24. Women’s Development Forum

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