Egyptian Parliament approves law to protect the identity of persons reporting sexual violence1 min read
On 18 August 2020, the Egyptian Parliament gave its final approval for an amendment to the criminal procedure legislation in order to afford an automatic right to anonymity to persons reporting cases of sexual violence. The amendment, which seeks to encourage the reporting of sexual violence, prohibits investigative authorities from disclosing information about victims and survivors of such crimes, except to prosecutors and the defendants. This amendment follows widespread public outrage about the failures of the Egyptian criminal justice system to address rape, sexual assault and harassment. In recent weeks scores of victims and survivors have started to speak up on social media about sexual assault in a #MeToo movement in Egypt. The amendment will come into effect once it has been approved by Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.
On 19 August 2020, New Frame published an article in which it questioned whether this legislative amendment is enough. The limitations of the justice system, state-sanctioned sexual violence, problematic social stigmas and gendered policing were listed as significant barriers to transformation and equality in Egypt. The article notes that “Egypt’s legal system is fraught with structural biases and subjectivities” and “generally works against the victim.” While change is afoot, albeit incrementally, female parliamentarian Ghada Ghareeb, has stated that this is a step “on a long road of issuing regulations that preserve women’s rights”.
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