5 December 2017

Egypt: Three Years in Jail and Fine for Egyptian Lawyer Over Rape Comments

Photo: Al-Assema
Lawyer Nabih al-Wahsh.

An Egyptian lawyer was sentenced to 3 years in jail and fined for inciting violence against women on national TV.

An Egyptian court has sentenced the lawyer to three years in prison for saying that women who wear ripped jeans should be raped as a "national duty".

The conservative lawyer, Nabih al-Wahsh, was also fined £839.

Al-Wahsh made the comments on a TV show in October, where panellists were debating a draft law on prostitution.

"Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing?" he said on Al-Assema.

"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," he said, further adding that women wearing revealing clothes were "inviting men to harass them".

The comments sparked fury across Egypt, with the country's National Council for Women consequently filing a complaint against the TV channel to the Supreme Council for Media Regulation.

The Council also pleaded with the media to avoid giving platforms to individuals who make comments that lead to violence against women in a city branded the most dangerous in a poll conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation in October.

In the wake of the uproar, the prosecutor brought charges against al-Wahsh.

Al-Wahsh is no stranger to controversies. In 2016, he got into a fight with a liberal cleric on TV after the Sheikh Rashad said it is not necessary for women to cover their hair with headscarves.

He was also loud in opposing women serving as judges. He saw women serving as judges could also allow them to become a Muslim legal expert with the power to give fatwas on their periods.

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