‘Secret’ anti-sexual harassment force formed in South Sinai

Yousef Saba
2 Min Read
Anti-harassment groups previously formed Eid operation rooms. (AFP FILE PHOTO/KHALED DESOUKI)

South Sinai Governor Khalid Fouda formed a secret force to prevent sexual harassment in the city of Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai, state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

The decision came at a meeting with top security officials in the governorate. The governor also asked for an increase in all security forces in anticipation of the upcoming Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

An official from the South Sinai governorate, who requested to remain anonymous, told Daily News Egypt that the decision came as a result of increased complaints from citizens and tourists alike.

He added that the forces will be deployed continuously, and not just during the Eid Al-Fitr period. The forces would be in plainclothes so as to be indistinguishable from other individuals. He also said that the forces will be positioned across all cities in the governorate, and not just Sharm El-Sheikh.

The official said that the forces belong to the Tourism Police Investigations service. He clarified that when a member of the force meets a case of harassment, he would quietly apprehend the perpetrator(s) and escort them to the nearest police station for investigations.

Egypt has accumulated a shocking record of sexual harassment, highlighted in a UN report that stated that 99.3% of women have faced some form of harassment (including verbal) in the country.

Sexual harassment generally peaks during holidays, when large numbers of people gather in public spaces.

The official from South Sinai, however, made sure to highlight that South Sinai is mostly spared from the large-scale harassment seen in Cairo and other parts of the country.

He stated that levels of harassment are extremely low, and even went as far as to claim it is virtually non-existent, signalling that the forces are just a precautionary measure.

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Yousef Saba is an aspiring multimedia journalist. He is studying Broadcast Journalism and International Politics at The Pennsylvania State University.
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