Cairo: Egyptian security authorities are investigating a viral online video of alleged mass harassment that reportedly occurred on the New Year’s Eve, as the country is struggling to eliminate the street problem.
The video shows dozens of young men mobbing and grabbing at mini-skirt-wearing girl as she is crying until she is whisked away in a car.
Online witnesses claimed that the incident had taken place in the city of Mansoura in northern Egypt on Tuesday night.
Sources at the city’s security department said they are verifying the video to identify the offenders, according to local media.
“We’ll also check street surveillance cameras for the incident,” a security source told private newspaper Al Watan.
“Search is under way for the girl to question her and arrest the accused,” he added.
Sexual harassment is a serious problem in Egypt.
A 2013 UN report found that 99.3 per cent of women in Egypt have experienced some form of sexual harassment.
Conservatives usually blame victims and their attires, prompting many of them to shun reporting the offence to authorities for fear of social disgrace.
In recent years, Egyptian authorities and civil society groups have stepped up efforts to combat the offence. Under recent legal amendments, sexual harassment in Egypt is punishable by jail terms of up to 10 years.
Egyptian courts have recently issued tough jail sentences in different cases of sex assaults. The verdicts were passed following a short number of hearings. Previously, such cases took many years before a ruling was delivered.