Thursday, March 27, 2014

Egypt: Update--Tourist Police Arrest Suspect in Attempting to Rape British Businesswoman, 40

According to http://www.english.ahram.org.eg, Egypt’s Tourist Police arrested on Wednesday (March 26) a hotel employee accused of raping a British businesswoman, 40, in South Sinai earlier this month.

A security source told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website that the arrested has been charged with “attempting to sexually assault a tourist during her visit at the hotel between February 28 through March 6."

Last Sunday, news reports circulated that a 40-year-old British businesswoman claimed she had been raped by a hotel worker during her visit to Sharm El-Sheikh on March 6.

On Monday (March 24), Egypt's tourism ministry said it was investigating the case along with British Foreign Office with UK authorities.

Egypt's prosecutor-general Hisham Barakat opened an investigation into the rape allegations late on Tuesday (March 25) after receiving a notification from INTERPOL.

COMMENT: The same day (March 25), a police officer was referred to criminal court for the attempted rape of a Russian tourist in the Red Sea resort town.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egypt's Tourism Minstry 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 ignored by management.

As I have said previously, for the benefit of all foreigners in Egypt, the Egyptian Tourism Ministry should effectively define "sexual harassment." 

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 on the country's reputation.

Interestingly, the Tourism Ministry has recorded 150 cases of sexual harassment against tourists over the last two years. 

There have also been only three recorded rapes in 2013, which seems strange for a country that has yet to satisfactorily define "sexual harassment."