Country's Shame

06.12.14

Egyptian President Apologizes to Victim

Last weekend, a young woman was sexually assaulted by a crowd at a political rally. Will her country finally act to protect women?

On Sunday, during the inaugural celebration for Egypt’s new President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a young woman was the victim of a public mass sexual assault. She is not the first such victim. The New York Times reported earlier this week that a coalition of 25 rights groups had documented more than 250 cases of mass sexual assault at such public gatherings between November 2012 and January 2014, and at least nine on Sunday night alone. Yesterday, President Sisi apologized to this woman, declaring in a televised visit to her hospital room, “I apologize to you, and as a state, we will not allow this to happen again.” Mr. Sisi said, “I am here to tell you, and every Egyptian woman, I apologize to all of you.” In addition to the apology, The Times reports, President Sisi’s office issued a statement that he had formed a broad committee to “identify the underlying causes behind the proliferation of this phenomenon and delineate a national strategy to address it.” For the growing number of victims, such a strategy can’t come soon enough.