'I'm proud of this new generation': Hend Sabry praises bravery of women speaking out against sexual assault

The Tunisian actress's comments come as a number of university students in Egypt accuse a man of sexual abuse

Hend Sabry has praised the bravery of a 'new generation' of Arab women speaking out against sexual abuse. Getty Images 
Hend Sabry has praised the bravery of a 'new generation' of Arab women speaking out against sexual abuse. Getty Images 

Tunisian actress Hend Sabry has applauded the bravery of sexual assault victims in Egypt for speaking out, saying most Arab women have experienced sexual harassment, but are too afraid to report it for fear of an “unfair social response”.

In a series of tweets, the award-winning actress and UN ambassador said she was “very proud of this new generation of young girls who speak up”, adding that “harassment and rape are shameful for those who commit it, not the victim".

Her comments come after a number of women in Egypt spoke out to accuse a man of sexual assault and harassment over the course of several years. The accusations came from the Twitter accounts of a group students at the American University in Cairo, who said the former student abused and blackmailed them.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, Sabry said: “A broader view on the painful sexual assault case that is preoccupying the public opinion, I can guarantee that all Arab women – with the exception of few lucky ones – have experienced some sort of harassment and were too afraid to expose their predators."

She added: “Grateful for every woman who was not silenced and stood up for her dignity and that of every other woman. And grateful for the men who are standing wholeheartedly by the victims."

Egyptian authorities on Saturday arrested the man who allegedly sexually abused dozens of girls and women, a security source said.

"The person accused of harassing the girls has been arrested and will be facing prosecution following the allegations carried on social media," the security source said.

"Those affected should submit formal reports of the harm they endured."

Egypt's National Council for Women lodged an official complaint with the public prosecutor to investigate the allegations on Saturday.

Egypt criminalised sexual harassment in 2014.

Updated: July 5, 2020 03:13 PM

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