CAIRO, Feb 29 (Aswat Masriya) – An Egyptian misdemeanor court sentenced controversial TV anchorwoman Riham Saeed to one year and six months in prison for airing personal photos of a guest on her show without her permission.
Saeed faced charges of defamation and infringement of personal privacy. She was handed down a six-month sentence and fined EGP 10,000 (around $1,277) for the former charge; for the latter, she was sentenced to one year and fined EGP 15,000 (around $1,916).
The court acquitted the legal representative of private TV channel Al-Nahar, on which Saeed's programme was aired.
The incident dates back to October 2015 when Saeed interviewed a young woman, Somaya Tarek, on her TV show Sabaya al-Kheir. During her interview on the show, Tarek said that she was "harassed" by her assaulter and that when she threatened to call security, he followed her and slapped her.
In a video footage featuring the incident, the young woman is seen walking in a mall a few steps behind a man, speaking on her cell phone. The man turns around, they exchange a few words then all of a sudden he angrily slaps her twice before security guards push him away.
On her show, Saeed appeared to defend the man and blame the woman, implying that Tarek "has brought it on herself" as Saeed showed personal photos of Tarek, including ones of her on the beach, without her knowledge. Within the context of alleged harassment, displaying these photos seemed to implicate the victim.
Tarek said that photos were taken from her cell phone without permission by Saeed’s production team. She had left the phone with them to charge it before airtime.
The whole incident infuriated social media users then and called for killing Saeed's show. Accordingly, Saeed's show was suspended as major advertisers withdrew their sponsorship of the programme and announced that they are not responsible for its content.