Egypt's President Wants To Remove YouTube Video Of Gang-Rape Victim Being Dragged Through The Streets

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Egyptian officials are asking YouTube to remove a video of an injured and naked rape victim being dragged through Cairo’s Tahrir Square during President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's inauguration celebration.

Police arrested seven men aged 15 to 49 for sexual harassment during the celebration on Sunday. It is unclear how many men took part in the sexual assault on the 19-year-old woman.

At least five other women were also sexually assaulted during the event, according to the Middle East Monitor.

Al-Sisi visited the victim in the hospital this week and says she also wants the video removed.

"The Egyptian embassy in Washington, D.C. and a number of Egyptian authorities, at the direction of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, have requested the YouTube administration to remove the video of the sexual assault victim," an al-Sisi spokesman said.

"This came in response to her wish, which she expressed during the president's visit to her yesterday at the hospital to check on her condition," he added in an email statement.

Because the victim requested that this video be taken down, we will not show it. However, it is still up on Youtube.

Al-Sisi says the police officer who rescued the woman from the mob will be honored.

The U.S. has urged Egypt to crack down on sexual violence after a spike in sexual assault during and after the 2011 uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak. Rape at large gatherings is now commonplace.

After the Sunday attacks, 29 women’s rights groups released a joint statement saying that they have documented more than 250 cases of "mass rape" and "mass sexual assaults" from November 2012 to January 2014.

"It is shameful that security officials from the interior ministry did not adopt any measures or security plans to prevent such assaults, despite the fact they have repeatedly occurred,” one woman said in a statement on the “I Saw Harassment” forum, which documents sexual violence against women in Egypt.

Egypt passed a law last week that makes sexual harassment illegal and punishable with up to five years in prison and a $420 fine. However, many have criticized the measure, claiming that police will not enforce it.

Sources: New York Daily News, Middle East Monitor