CAIRO: Catch a Harasser; an anti-sexual harassment group has warned against five parks in Cairo as “destinations for sexual harassers” during feasts, according to a Thursday statement by the movement.
Al-Azhar Park, Orman, Fustat, Merryland, Giza Zoo, and Gabalaya parks are on the list of Catch a Harasser.
“These parks provide harassers a suitable medium and an opportunity for harassment in a hit-and-run style,” Hatem Shabaan, cofounder of the grassroots campaign, said in the statement.
He added that volunteers in the campaign will intensify their presence at the five parks during Eid el-Fitr, a three-day feast that follows the holy month of Ramadan.
The group members will be present outside downtown Cairo cinemas including Cinema Miami, Cinema Metro in Talaat Harb street and Cinema Rivoli in July 26 street, as well as Tahrir Square, Abdel Moneim Riyad Square, outside Maspero television building on the Nile Corniche and Qasr al-Nil bridge, according to the statement.
The majority of police reports filed against harassers during feasts are not referred to the prosecution, Shabaan said.
The volunteers of the initiative intervene in cases of sexual harassment and stalking on streets and try to hand offenders to the police.
A report released by the United Nations in June 2013 calculated that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women had been sexually harassed, either verbally or physically.
According to a 2014 report issued by Egypt’s Population Council, sexual harassment among girls aged 13-17 hiked from 46.4 percent in 2009 to 49.5 percent in 2014.
Girls aged from 13 to 29 witnessed a decrease in sexual harassment rates from 49.7 percent in 2009 to 42.6 percent in 2014.
The punishment for sexual harassers was toughened under amendments adopted by former interim President Adly Mansour, and assaulters now face up to five years in prison.
Two defendants were sentenced in August 2014 to life in prison over charges of mob sexual assault and attempted murder in Tahrir Square that occurred in early June, while another was sentenced to 20 years in prison.