Egyptian President Sisi ratifies amendments to law to toughen penalties against sexual harassment

CAIRO – August 18, 2021: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Wednesday ratified Law No. 111/2021. 141/2021 amending certain articles of Criminal Law 58/1937 to combat sexual harassment.

The amendments provide harsher penalties for those who harass others in public or private places by making sexual innuendo, whether through gestures, words or actions.

Under the recently introduced amendments, the accused will be liable to a double penalty in the event of a repetition of the same crime. The law was published in today’s official gazette.

Last July, the Egyptian House of Representatives discussed a report issued by the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee regarding a bill submitted by 61 MPs to toughen penalties against harassment in law.

Member of Parliament Ashraf Rashad and 60 others (more than a tenth of the members of parliament) to modify certain provisions of the Penal Code concerning the punishment of sexual harassment.

The committee stressed that the bill is in line with the constitution, particularly its article 10, which states that the family is the foundation of society, based on religion, morals and patriotism, and that the state is due to its cohesion, its stability and the consolidation of its values, as well as the commitment of the State to protect women against all forms of violence.

The committee pointed out that the bill came as a result of the current situation resulting in negativities due to the absence of certain legal enactments that deter the crime of harassment.

The amendments increased the prison term and the fine imposed on offenders.

The amendments:

The amendments were extended to section 306 bis b, which states that if the crime explained in section 306 bis a of the law was committed with the intention of the perpetrator to obtain a sexual advantage from the victim , then it is an act of sexual harassment. The perpetrator shall be punished with imprisonment for at least five years and a fine of at least LE 200,000 and not exceeding LE 300,000, or both.

If the author of the offense was one of those provided for in the second paragraph of article 267 of this law, or exercised professional, family or school authority over the victim, or exerted any pressure on the victim, or if the crime was committed by two or more persons, or at least one of them was carrying a weapon, the penalty shall be imprisonment for at least seven years and a fine of at least 300,000 LE pounds and not more than LE 500,000.

The previous law:

Section 306 (a) of the Penal Code states that the accused shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than six months and a fine of not less than three thousand pounds and not more than 5,000 pounds , or one of the two. sanctions, anyone who commits sexual innuendo or innuendo, whether by gesture, word or action, or by any means, including online.

The penalty shall be imprisonment for not less than one year and a fine not less than five thousand pounds and not more than ten thousand pounds, and either of these two penalties if the act is repeated by the offender by stalking and stalking. the victim, and if the perpetrator is carrying a weapon, the penalty shall be imprisonment for at least two years. It does not exceed five years and the fine is not less than twenty thousand pounds and not more than fifty thousand pounds.