Trigger warning: rape, sexual assault
Not so long ago, a social media account on Instagram (AssaultPolice) recounted a horrifying rape case. It was about a serial harasser who raped and blackmailed over 100 girls, some of them minors. The police arrested Ahmed Bassam Zaki, the serial harasser, and he is now facing a felony trial. As a result of this, so many girls felt brave enough to come forward with their cases and stories.
One of these cases was The Fairmont Nile City gang-rape case. The Instagram account also played an important role in bringing this case to the light.
What’s the story?
Back in 2014, a girl went to a party in a luxurious 5 star-hotel called Fairmont Nile City in Cairo. She went with her friends to have fun and enjoy her time. However, a gang of rich, powerful guys had a different idea. They drugged the victim’s drink with GHB, a drug that rapists use to make their victims pass out before raping them. The effect of GHB can last up to 16 hours.
The victim was taken to a private suite and they proceeded to gang-rape her.
According to Daily News’ sources, the victim was attending a tea dance party with her friends. Unluckily, she met one of the rapists upon entering the hotel. The rapist invited her to a presidential suite, which is located on the top floor of the hotel. When the victim did not show up after the party, her friends thought she was having fun without them and they left her.
Then, the rapists drugged the victim heavily with GHB. In her lucid moments, she would ask them for some water, but they would give her more GHB to knock her out again.
The abuse did not stop here. Rapists have no limits. They carved their names on her body as they laughed about it. In addition to that, they recorded what they did as a trophy of what they have done and to blackmail the victim with the video. The video of this victim — among other videos of other victims — was circulated between the rapists and their friends. They also have a group chat where they send the horrible rapes they committed.
How Egyptian feminists decided to speak up
Once this case came to light, thousands of Egyptian feminists started spreading the word and demanding authorities to look into it. They even demanded the hotel to bring the required security footage and send them to the public prosecutor to arrest the group of rapists.
Upon the spreading of the news, the too-powerful-rich-men started threatening the Assault Police account owner and sending her and her team death threats. As a result of that, the owner deactivated the account in fear of her life.
After that, other accounts decided to keep going on. One of these accounts was “Moghtasebon” (rapists) which was also one of the lead accounts on the case.
The rapists also threatened to expose the victim’s identity, which luckily never came to pass. Women all over the social media launched a campagin called #IAmTheFairmontVictim to protect her identity. Every woman would post a story, Facebook post or a tweet saying that she is the fairmont victim.
Where did the rapists go?
It is essential that before we talk about them, we mention their names and let everyone know them for the horrible human beings they are.
- Amr Al Komy
- Sherief Al Komy
- Omar Hafez
- Amr Hussien
- Khaled Mahmoud
- Ahmed Tolan
- Amr Al Sedawy
- Amir Zayed
- Youssef Korra
As soon as the suspects felt danger, they fled the country. 5 of them escaped to Lebanon; the Interpol managed to arrest only 3 of them. Amir Zayed was arrested in Egypt’s Airport trying to escape the country like the rest of the other suspects.
During all this time, the public prosecution was investigating the case, or so we thought.
How did the victim and the witnesses become suspects?
Not long after the arrest of the powerful and wealthy criminals, those in power couldn’t have that. The Wall Street Journal reported that the authorities arrested multiple witnesses, including the witness who provided evidence which led to the arrest of the suspects.
The police confiscated the witnesses’ phones and refused to give them access to their lawyers. They questioned them for hours while threatening them with charges of drugs and debauchery. This is the Egyptian’s government typical way of manipulating victims.
It did not stop here, as rumors of a “gay and lesbian orgy” were everywhere on social media as a camouflage to hide the actual case. The Egyptian community is highly anti-LGBTQ, so it is only smart — and horrible — to use this strategy to make the witnesses and the victim look bad and give them bad reputation. By doing this, they are trying to make sure the case goes quiet and people stop talking about it. Additionally, instead of giving support and sympathizing with the victim, the victim would feel like they were played.
Support us. Don’t let the case die. Demand justice.
We are currently concerned that this move would affect the entire local #MeToo campaign in Egypt. These allegations against the victims and the witnesses will discredit them and give them a bad reputation, which will also hurt the cause. We were finally getting stronger and were gaining power because of the actions of law enforcement from previous cases.
Make sure you tweet and post about the Fairmont rape case in Egypt, and talk to your friends about it. Talk about Fairmont everywhere on your social media platforms. We need your support now more than ever. They will not silence us.
Please use these hashtags when tweeting about it: