Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Egypt: Update--Active Duty Egyptian Cop To Be Charged with Attempted Rape in Sharm El-Shiekh

According to, a second sexual assault this month in Sharm El-Shiekh is beginning to challenge whether foreign women are safe anywhere in the Land of the Pharaohs.

Egypt's prosecutor-general has referred a tourist police officer working in South Sinai to a criminal court for the attempted rape of a Russian tourist in Sharm El-Sheikh. 

According to a statement issued on Tuesday (March 25) by the prosecutor-general's office, the incident in question refers to a police report received on March 15. 

Lilian Marizuean, a Russian tourist, was sleeping in her hotel room when Ibrahim Ismail, an officer in South Sinai's tourism police, entered Ms. Marizuean's guest room from through a balcony and attempted to rape her.

Marizuean resisted Ismail and screamed, and succeeded in pushing him out of her room. She reported the incident to authorities the next morning. 

COMMENT: Given the fact that the sexual assault of foreign women seem to be on the rise, it is my belief that henceforth the Egyptian media should identify the name of the hotel that sexual assaults and rape occur in the interest of tourist security, so that tourists and travelers can avoid such properties.

The officer's trial will take place in Ismailia, the nearest criminal court to the Red Sea resort town.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egypt's Ministry of Tourism revoked the licenses of two hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh – Hilton Sharks Bay Hotel and Sharm Holiday Resort – after "sexual harassment" incidents at both resorts were apparently ignored by management.

I again strongly object to the Tourism Ministry's revocation of the licenses to operate for both the Hilton Sharks Bay Hotel and Sharm Holiday Resort, as the end result is the denial of employment for the 99% of staff members who are penalized for performing their duties.

Moreover, in the interest of transparency, presuming that both of the effected hotels received written notifcation as to why their licenses were revoked, they should retain legal counsel and challenge the Tourism Ministry's action as being counterproductive to work opportunities for law-abiding staff.

The prosecutor-general's office on Tuesday stressed that it still has not received any official report regarding this week's alleged rape of a British woman in Sharm El-Sheikh. If not, why not?

Every newspaper in Egypt has covered the fact that a British businesswoman, 40, was raped in a five-star hotel in Sharm El-Sheikh.

British press revealed on Sunday that a 40-year-old British businesswoman said she had been raped by a security guard at a five-star hotel.

Egypt's tourism minister said on Monday that it was investigating the case along with UK authorities. If so, that apparently is a deficiency on the part of the Tourism Police.

In May 2013, Egypt's tourism minister Hisham Zaazou told Ahram Online that hotels would be closed if staff were found to have sexually harassed tourists, behavior that Zaazou said would negatively impact the country's reputation.

What about attempted rape and sexual assault? Do such felonies also qualify as crimes under the bizarre term referred to as "sexual harassment"?

The Tourism Ministry has recorded 150 cases of sexual harassment against tourists over the last two years. Perhaps for the benefit of all foreigners the Ministry should define the term "sexual harassment."

If the Tourism Ministry can cancel the license of a hotel without the benefit of any appellate process, it appears that the rule of law in Egypt is in need of a major overhaul, particularly at the Tourism Ministry.