In yet another incident of sexual harassment in Egypt, a young diver photographed a diving instructor molesting a Russian tourist underwater.
The incident was photographed by Mohamed Hany, who shared the images of the harrowing incident on Facebook and explained what had happened.
Hany was aboard a tourist boat in the middle of the Red Sea in Sharm El-Sheikh when he saw a young woman in distress over her diving instructor’s sexual advances. The man had put his arm around the woman, whose face cannot be seen, and was trying to bring her closer to his body.
According to Al Arabiya, Hany followed the pair and took photos without being noticed.
Hani reported that as soon as the two went out of the water, they started arguing and the girl looked like she was looking for a way to escape. As soon as she saw the tourist boat, she looked extremely relieved and asked for help from those on board, requesting them to protect her from the harasser.
Hany said he understood what the argument was about and confronted the man, threatening to report him to the police. The harasser then realized he had been photographed and started threatening Hany.
The young diver said he wished the man was punished and decided to post the pictures on social media to expose the abusive man so his company can deal with them.
When social media users criticized Hany on Facebook for not interfering while the two were in the water, he replied, “I didn't have the authority to do anything about it and I was not capable of doing anything else. If I had been a pessimist, I would have not taken the photos, nor defended her, like many people do.”
He also stated he would have gotten into trouble at work if he had left the boat to go to the woman’s aid.
He also blamed Egypt’s sexist, misogynistic culture for this type of incidents against foreign women.
“The problem lies in the Egyptian culture that considers such incidents as normal for a foreign woman. Guys, foreigners are humans just like us, they are not sex-obsessed individuals,” he said.
This incident came to light a week after a man was murdered on an Egyptian beach for trying to protect his wife from an alleged harasser.
Trip.com ranked Egypt as one of the worst countries for solo female travelers. A recent report by U.N. Women in collaboration with a Brazilian pro-gender equality organization, Promundo, revealed 43 percent Egyptian men believe women enjoy the attention and do not mind being harassed. In the same study, around 65 percent of men and 85 percent ? said, “women who dress provocatively deserve to be harassed.”
With this kind of attitude, is it any wonder that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, according to a 2013 report.
If a woman takes her harassment case to court and the man is convicted, he can face a minimum of six months in prison. A repeat offense can result in a five years in jail. However, many women refuse to come forward because of societal stigma or fear of repercussion from the men’s family members.
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