CAIRO: A total of 40 Egyptian judges will be trained on combating violence against women, according to a Monday statement by the National Council for Women (NCW.)
The training will commence Tuesday at a Cairo hotel, and will be launched by NCW head Mervat al-Talawy and Justice Minister Ahmed al-Zend.
Some judges have used clemency in cases of rape and sexual assault; hence activists have called for obligating judges to explain grounds of clemency in the findings of cases.
In 2013, the Cairo Center for Development adopted the case of a 9-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by her uncle over eight months. The charge was reduced into “indecent assault” after the forensic medical report said the girl’s hymen was still intact, although it also said rape can occur without the tearing of the hymen.
If the victim is a minor and the perpetrator a relative in a case of indecent assault, the perpetrator is supposed to be sentenced to 25 years of “rigorous imprisonment,” according to article 268 of the Penal Code.
The uncle, however, was sentenced to only five years in prison in absentia in December 2013, although Egyptian judges tend to issue harsh sentences when defendants are at large.
In a United Nations Population Fund and NCW press conference in November 2014, Talawy expressed her wish that judges would agree to receive training, after The Cairo Post asked her if that was an option.
“It would be great if judges, and everyone else no matter what their rank, go through training. Nobody knows everything,” Talawy told The Cairo Post on her way out of the conference.