Egypt: Actor given 3 years for attempted rape of 7 women, political activists twice his sentence

Egyptian Actor Shady Khalaf sentenced to just 3 years in prison for sexual assault and attempted rape of seven women

There has been an outcry following the three-year prison sentence given to Egyptian actor Shady Khalaf who is accused of sexual harassment and the attempted rape of seven women at an acting workshop.

In June last year another actor Abd El-Rahman Magdy published a series of Instagram posts with the testimonies of women who had been sexually assaulted by Khalaf.

The posts revealed that Khalaf had convinced the women to stay after the workshops for what he said would be further practice.

Magdy promised to support the women who had been harassed if they came forward and shared their experiences to provide evidence against Khalaf in court.

However, earlier this week the Cairo Criminal Court adjourned the trial of social media influencer Haneen Hossam who has been sentenced to ten years in prison, over three times the length of Khalaf’s term, on human trafficking charges simply because she explained to her thousands of followers how to make money from social media.

Some social media users have said that Khalaf’s jail sentence is too low, when in comparison political prisoners have been sentenced to five years for charges of “spreading false news.”

This week it was revealed that bloggers Mohamed Oxygen and Alaa Abdelfattah, and human rights lawyer Mohamed Baqer will not have the two years they have already spent in pretrial detention deducted from their four and five year prison sentences.

The three have been detained for social media posts they wrote highlighting human rights violations in Egypt, according to the International Federation for Human Rights. Mona Seif, Alaa’s sister, decried on Twitter the disparity between the two sentences.

Mona Seif’s says: This is the post that put Alaa in prison for five years.

And this is the person who was convicted today of indecently assaulting seven women and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Yes! Five years for one sentence, “a second murder in a police cell,” compared to three years imprisonment (which is basically four months in prison for every offence) for a criminal who assaulted seven women!

A series of serious sexual abuse, rape and electronic blackmail cases have underscored the issue of women’s rights in Egypt over the past several months and the media attention surrounding them has, to a certain extent, forced authorities to act.

Yet at the same time, rights defenders say the government is not really listening to the issues raised in Egypt’s #MeToo movement, for example proposing a draft law early last year which included a clause that meant any man in a woman’s family could annul her marriage within the first year if he didn’t approve of it.

Other examples include sentencing young social media influencers on charges of “debauchery” and “violating family values.”