Egyptian woman commits suicide after intimate video leaked

Egyptian woman commits suicide after family blame her for leaked intimate video
2 min read
21 October, 2020
After private videos filmed without her consent were posted on social media, a young woman 'burned herself to death' in Egypt, local media reports said.
The video-leak victim's parents reportedly blamed her for pre-marital sex prior to her suicide. [Getty]

A 23-year-old Egyptian woman in Giza has taken her life after her family blamed her for a private video that was leaked on social media without her consent, according to local reports on Wednesday.

The unidentified woman from the city of Al-Ayyat reportedly set herself on fire on Tuesday, later succumbing to her injuries at the city's central hospital.

The Al-Ayyat public prosecution office authorised the burial of the body after an autopsy to confirm the cause of death and summoned the family for interrogation. 

Her lover, a 25-year-old factory worker, was also summoned and allegedly confessed to secretly filming their intimate moments and posting the footage on social media without her permission. 

According to Al-Masry Al-Youm, a police report received by the prosecution quoted the girl's family saying they were surprised their daughter had taken her life even though they had "blamed her for her act". 

Premarital sex is considered a taboo in conservative Egypt, with blame often directed at women, who are subjected to violence and even 'honour killings' for exercising sexual freedoms. 

In July, a #MeToo movement took over Egyptian social media, with many women using aliases to recall experiences of harassment - extremely prevelant in Egyptian society - as well as blackmail at the hands of men.

Hundreds of women and activists called out the country's lack of punitive measures against those commiting sex and gender-based crimes.

In 2018, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ratified a cybercrimes law which punishes the posting of photos and videos of others without their consent. 

According to the law, posting content that "violates the family principles and values upheld by Egyptian society" may be punished by a minimum of six-months' imprisonment, and/or a fine of EGP50,000–100,000 (Up to $6,364)

However, the law is seldom applied and those who leak private photos and videos of women without their consent are rarely prosecuted.

Amnesty International has documented at least two instances where courts have even used private photos as "evidence" to prosecute women on charges of "indecency" and "violating family principles and values".

Under several news posts, dozens of Egyptian men left cruel comments spewing hate towards the victim, accusing her of "disrespecting Egyptian societal values" and blaming her for the leaked videos.

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