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Alex Wright

Egyptian Twitter users slam 'slut-shaming' TV host

Saeed was recently criticised for calling Syrian refugees "uncivilised" [YouTube]

Date of publication: 29 October, 2015

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Egyptian Twitterati have severely criticised TV anchorwoman Reham Saeed for 'slut-shaming' a woman who was attacked by a sexual harasser and airing intimate photographs of her.
Egyptian social media users have slammed controversial TV host Reham Saeed after she aired revealing photographs of a young woman who was recently attacked by a sexual harasser in a Cairo mall.

Saeed interviewed Sumaya Abeed on Tuesday and told the young woman she was to blame for the vicious attack, which was documented by mall security cameras, because she was wearing a sleeveless shirt.

The TV host then broadcasted personal photographs of Abeed, which were allegedly sent to the show's producers, depicting her on the beach in a bikini being carried by a man and holding a bottle of liqueur.

     If would I would let someone hold me in a bikini like that then of course I would let someone sexually harass me
- Reham Saeed
"If would I would let someone hold me in a bikini like that then of course I would let someone sexually harass me, it wouldn't be the end of the world," Saeed said on her programme Sabaya al-Kheir.

"I would have been wrong today had I attacked the police and the mall's security guards. We shouldn't believe everything we see or hear because we don't know all the details," she added.

"The police didn't arrest the attacker because they clearly saw that something wasn't right. We have been sent a lot more pictures and I was really upset when I saw them - they are too revealing to air," Saeed said.

The TV host then concluded the programme by saying that just as there are sexual harassers on the streets there are also women "who are asking for it".

Abeed has said the police and the mall's security guards let the suspect walk free because he is well-known thug in the area and that police accused her of previously knowing the man.

     
      CCTV footage of the attack on Abeed [YouTube]
She also has accused Saeed's production crew of stealing the photos from her phone while she was filming her interview.

Abeed has responded to Saeed's underhanded reprimand on social media saying: "I will soon reply to everything that happened, and believe me, I will get my rights and the right of every free honourable woman, because we are free, not slaves to dirty media that slanders people."

Social media backlash

Egyptian Twitter users and activists quickly lashed out at Saeed, some using the Arabic-language hashtag "Die Reham".

"How can a respectable channel allow the airing of nude photos of a girl without her approval to justify an attack against her. If she was your daughter would you let someone expose her," said TV journalist Rana Heweidy.

"[Saeed] thinks she can wear whatever she wants because her social class allows it, but if women from the middle class or below dare to dress like her they deserve to be harassed," said one Twitter user.

Head of the Haqanya Centre for Advocacy and Law, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, tweeted: "The National Council for Human Rights has called for immediate action against Saeed's violation of the privacy of the sexual harassment victim."

In September, Saeed came under fire from social media users after making derogatory remarks about Syrian refugees on a show shot in a Lebanese refugee camp.

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