Egyptian lawyer jailed, fined for saying women in ripped jeans deserve rape

"It is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her,'' Nabil Al-Wahsh said of women wearing revealing clothing.

December 2, 2017 18:10
1 minute read.
Egyptian women protest against sexual harassment and assault in Cairo, November 2015

Egyptian women protest against sexual harassment and assault in Cairo, November 2015. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMR ABDALLAH DALSH)


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Egyptian lawyer Nabih al-Wahsh was sentenced to three years in prison this week for saying that women wearing ripped jeans deserved to be raped.

Al Wahsh made the comments on a televised panel about draft legislation on prostitution in the country, according to the BBC.

"Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing?" he asked. "I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her."

“Girls must respect themselves so others respect them,'' he said, adding that women who wear revealing clothing are ''inviting men to harass them.''

In addition to his prison sentence, Al Wahsh was handed a fine of $1,130.

Al Wahsh has made similarly controversial statements before. A self-described 'proud antisemite' he has denied the Holocaust and called for violence against Israelis. In 2016, he insinuated that the EgyptAir Flight 804 crash, in which 66 people died while en route to Cairo from Paris, was orchestrated by Israel.

A report released last month by the Thomas Reuters Foundation named Cairo as the most dangerous mega-city for women; experts said that women in the city experience sexual harassment and assault on a daily basis. The poll found that, out of all the 10 million-plus resident cities in the world, women in Cairo are the least-protected in the world from harmful cultural practices like genital mutilation, forced marriage and female infanticide. A United Nations poll from 2013 found that 99% of women in Cairo had reported instances of sexual harassment at least once in their lives.

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