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Egypt steps up penalties for sexual harassment to at least five years in jail

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Egypt’s parliament on Sunday passed a law toughening sentences for sexual harassment to at least five years in prison, Egyptian media outlets reported.

The amendment makes sexual harassment a criminal offence, as opposed to a misdemeanour, and raises the minimum penalty from a year and half in prison plus a fine.

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It also imposes a minimum sentence of seven years in prison for crimes in which the attacker uses a weapon, or in which multiple attackers are involved.

Multiple studies have found that most Egyptian women have experienced sexual harassment at least once in their lives.

Recent years have also seen a string of group attacks in crowded areas.

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