Abu Dhabi: Egyptian journalist Hisham Allam said he would prosecute any person who falsely accused him of harassment and rape, local media reported.
Responding to a number of harassment and rape accusations from women against him, posted on an Arabic Facebook blog “Storybook”, Allam added he encourages those who have evidence of the actions attributed to him to submit an official complaint to the Attorney General.
A security source said Allam’s complaint against the blog has been under investigation by the Internet and Information Technology Police.
Allam worked as a journalist for several international institutions and participated in the investigative reports known as the “Panam Documents”.
Yasser Sayed Ahmed, Allam’s lawyer, said in a statement two days ago that he filed a complaint last week against the admin of the blog, which published several testimonies accusing Alam of harassment and rape.
A state of anger prevailed in the Egyptian press and human rights circles after multiple testimonies by female journalists on the blog, all of whom spoke of harassment and rape attempts by a journalist, using the initials to refer to him, before Allam himself announced that he was the one intended in the testimonies.
In response to the testimonies, the Syndicate of Journalists said in a statement that it rejects the crimes of harassment and sexual assault against any woman, and against any journalist in particular.
The head of the Journalists Syndicate, Diaa Rashwan, called on all those who have knowledge, evidence, or complaints related to “outrageous” harassment crimes to promptly report these incidents to the Public Prosecution so that the perpetrators do not escape punishment, especially after the Criminal Procedure Law has been amended to provide confidentiality for victims of harassment crimes.
He explained that the Syndicate of Journalists will provide, through its legal apparatus, all kinds of legal support and assistance to members who will submit their reports or testimonies to the Public Prosecution.
Egypt recently passed a law protecting the identity of women who report to the Public Prosecution harassment and rape incidents.
Egypt’s women’s rights organisations considered the move a good step that encourages victims to disclose and report the crime, without suffering societal punishment.
In the same context, the National Council for Women, a government institution affiliated to the cabinet, called on all women who testified to submit an official report against the perpetrator, without naming the blogger or the intended journalist.
In the wake of the growing accusations against Allam, the International Federation of Investigative Journalists removed Allam from its list of members, after media organizations made it clear that Allam was no longer associated with it.
Allam was known for his activities in the field of investigative journalism, and as a trainer, he participated in a number of workshops held by Arab and foreign press institutions.
The campaign against Allam also included signatures that has reached so far about 300 from Egyptian female journalists.
Recently, an online campaign has emerged in Egypt against harassment and unethical practices against women, which led to the legislative amendment by the Public Prosecution, and more disclosure by victims. Many likened this campaign to the “Me Too” campaign that spread last year around the world.