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Egypt TV host suspended over sex attack remarks

Maha Bahnassy denied that her comments were in response to the harassment incidents being relayed on-air by the field reporter.

Published: Updated:

An Egyptian television presenter has been suspended following what were deemed as offensive comments on the sexual assault scandal which occurred during President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s inaugural celebrations, the Cairo-based daily newspaper al-Ahram reported Wednesday.

“They are happy,the [Egyptian] population is having fun,” Maha Bahnassy said while laughing on a live broadcast for the privately owned television channel Tahrir, during a report on sexual assault in Tahrir square.

The anchorwoman, whose comments caused widespread outrage, later denied that her remarks were in response to the harassment incidents being relayed on-air by the field reporter.

“I was, along with my guests, commenting on people’s joy, not the harassment,” Bahnassy wrote on her official Facebook page.

Following the incident, Tahrir channel apologized for Bahnassy’s comments and further emphasized their commitment to protecting women’s rights and raising awareness about sexual harassment.

Bahnassy's weekly show is due to be hosted by two new presenters, a source at the channel said, according to the newspaper.

Several women were assaulted during Sunday’s inaugural festivities in Cairo’s central Tahrir square.

The attacks were a grim reminder of the harassment of women in the country and coincided with Sisi starring in carefully choreographed ceremonies held at two of the capital’s most opulent presidential palaces and attended by hundreds of local and foreign dignitaries.