Egyptians dance as they celebrate after the swearing-in ceremony of President elect Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, June 8, 2014. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
CAIRO, June 22 (Aswat Masriya) An Egyptian court will hold on Wednesday its first trial of 12 people accused of sexually harassing women and girls in Tahrir Square during the celebrations of the inauguration of the country's new president.
At least five cases of mob sexual harassment were documented from June 3-8.
The 12 defendants are accused of kidnapping the victims, sexually assaulting and torturing them, in addition to charges of attempted murder and rape.
A graphic video of a mob harassing and stripping a woman off her clothes has circulated online earlier this month, despite a decision to enforce harsher punishments on sexual harassers.
A law introduced by former interim President Adli Mansour on Thursday, days before he handed over power to the newly-elected President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, stated that sexual harassers shall face imprisonment for at least one year and a fine of at least 3,000 Egyptian pounds (419 US Dollar).
The umbrella of sexual harassment was also extended to include verbal harassment, sexual gestures or harassment through phones or other means of communication.