International rights group Amnesty International (AI) called on Egypt’s Ministry of Interior, via its Twitter account on Thursday, to stop violence against its citizens.
The statement responds to a recent video that showed policemen beating a man in Dar Al-Salam metro station on Monday. AI also called for the immediate investigation of the incident and the police officer.
A video appeared on Tuesday on YouTube, and went viral across social media platforms, showing a group of policemen severely beating a man inside a metro station. The video’s publisher, named as Abd Elaty, said in his description to the video that the incident took place inside Dar Al-Salam metro station near Helwan on Monday.
He said: “A group of men were sexually harassing the man’s fiancé. Policemen however refused to rescue her, which urged her fiancé to go and argue with the policemen and insist on filing a report against them. One of the policemen then insulted the complainer, and kept arguing until other policemen stepped in to beat him as well.”
Sexual harassment targeting women in Egypt is highly prevalent, despite tighter countermeasures that have been brought into effect. Egypt’s interim cabinet amended the harassment law and included it in the Egyptian penal code in June. The new amendments escalated the penalties for any form of verbal or nonverbal sexual harassment or abuse in public or private areas, to at least six months imprisonment and a fine of between EGP 3,000 and EGP 5,000.
However, women still face major difficulties in filing reports against harassers, according to Azza Kamel, the director of civil society initiative ‘I Saw Harassment’. Kamel previously told Daily News Egypt: “We still cannot affirm that the law can actually end sexual harassment in Egypt.”
The video was viewed on social media as a police violation towards citizens, and an attempt to return to the era preceding the 25 January Revolution.