YouTube rejects removing Egypt sex assault video

Egyptian authorities had previously asked the video sharing site to remove a video of a woman being sexually assaulted

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YouTube turned down an Egyptian request to remove from its website a video of a woman being sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square during a rally marking the inauguration of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, The Independent newspaper reported Saturday.

The video-sharing website – owned by Google – has removed copies of the video in which the woman is identified but allowed others which blur her face to remain on the site, The Associated Press reported.


"We respect an individual's right to privacy and have always removed videos entirely where there is a privacy complaint and an individual is clearly identifiable," YouTube said in a statement.

The Egyptian Embassy in Washington made the request to YouTube, following a personal plea from the victim herself, presidential Spokesman Ehab Badawy said in a statement on Thursday.

“The Egyptian Embassy in Washington DC and a number of Egyptian authorities, at the direction of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, have requested the YouTube administration to remove the video of the sexual assault victim,” the spokesman was quoted by The Independent as saying late Thursday.

“This came in response to her wish, which she expressed during the president's visit to her yesterday at the hospital to check on her condition,” he added.

Sisi apologized to the victim in person when he visited her in the hospital on Wednesday.

“I have come to tell you and every Egyptian woman that I am sorry. I am apologizing to every Egyptian woman,” Sisi said while standing by the woman’s bed, AP reported.

Seven men were arrested in connection with sexual harassment on the day of Sisi’s inauguration, the British newspaper reported on Tuesday.

There have been repeated cases of sexual assault against women at Tahrir Square, Egypt’s main protests square, since the 2011 uprising which ousted former President Husni Mubarak.

Egypt’s former interim President Adly Mansour recently issued a decree criminalizing sexual harassment, with punishments of at least six months in jail, or fines of at least 3,000 Egyptian pounds.

More than 99 percent of Egyptian women are subjected to some form of abuse, according to a 2013 report by the United Nations.
(With AP and AFP)

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