The Egyptian prosecution office in Daqahlia governorate on Tuesday released nine more suspects involved in a mass sexual harassment case in Mansoura during New Year’s eve.
The Daqahlia Criminal Investigations Department had arrested the nine suspects who appeared in videos showing the incident, where two young women were harassed by a jeering mob of men on New Year’s eve by al-Gomhoria Street near Mansoura University – bringing the number of suspects arrested in the incident to 17.
The victims did not recognize the nine suspects as part of the assault during the police lineup, though they were apparently shown in the video.
Videos of the incident went viral on social media, sparking outrage especially from women’s rights advocates. The Director of the Criminal Investigations Department, Major General Sayed Sultan, formed a team to investigate the incident, identify the perpetrators and identify the victims.
Investigations found that one of the victims is Z. A. Sh, 20, a student at the Higher Institute of Engineering at al-Sallab University, who had been accompanied by her friend, M. M., 20, a student at the Faculty of Physical Education.
An eyewitness who helped rescue them stressed that one of the women was close to being seriously hurt or even killed by the mob until a group of young men helped her escape.
During interrogations, several of the arrested suspects initially denied committing the crime, but after investigators showed them the recorded video of the incident, they confessed to harassing the girls, adding they were “joking at the beginning before it turned serious.”
The police have intensified their efforts to locate and arrest the rest of the perpetrators in the incident, and investigators have inspected surveillance camera footage and questioned more than 20 people — including workers at commercial shops near the site of the incident, people employed at garages, and doorkeepers in the area.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm