After Referring The Attackers Of Menna Abdel Aziz To Criminal Trial, The Egyptian Initiative For Personal Rights Reiterates Its Demand For The Immediate Release Of Menna Abdel Aziz And Dropping All Charges Against Her
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights followed the General Prosecution’s decision to refer the attackers of Menna Abdel Aziz (Aya) to criminal trial. Some of the attackers were charged with kidnapping with fraud and coercion, and kidnapping and rape, and the others with various accusations that varied between assault by force and threat, theft, beating, and violating the sanctity of private life by posting private content online, threatening, and damaging a phone.
EIPR also followed the prosecutor’s decision to bring Mohammed Hamdi (Kalashnikov) to trial before the Juvenile Court in accordance with his age, and it is worth noting that Menna Abdel Aziz did not accuse "Kalashnikov" during the investigations of any of the attacks against her and that the prosecution did not charge him with any charges related to the assault or the harm inflicted on Menna.
EIPR calls upon the Public Prosecution again to use its authority, and to take the decision best suited for the safety of the victim, Menna Abdel Aziz (Aya), to drop all charges against her and release her immediately, so that she can begin recovering from the psychological and physical effects of the attacks that she was subjected to at the hands of the accused. By dropping the charges against Manna and releasing her, the Public Prosecution will send a clear message to all Egyptian women and girls, that whatever the circumstances surrounding the violence they have been subjected to, the prosecution will protect them as complainants and apply the provisions of the law to the aggressors. Such message will reassure survivors of sexual violence that filing a complaint with the prosecution will not result in an accusation against them, which the perpetrators may bring against them as an attempt to defend themselves and to place the blame and culpability on the victims.
We have all followed the various measures that the Public Prosecution Office has taken towards the victims in the Ahmed Bassam Zaki case, and the recent amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code, taking into account the sensitivity of sexual violence cases against women and girls. The release of Abdel-Aziz is the only way in which the Public Prosecution can guarantee the fulfillment of the principle of full equality between all victims, and it sends a message to all society and to victims, and survivors of sexual violence in particular, that the law provides them with protection regardless of their social backgrounds or economic conditions. In hope that achieving justice may open the door to survivors in all cases towards recovering from these heinous crimes committed against them.
* This is a revised version of a statement that was published yesterday evening and has been replaced by the current version.