Egypt’s prosecutor general has ordered that accusations of sexual assault made by three men against a dentist be investigated.
TV director Tameem Younis and actor Abbas Abdul-Hassan are among the accusers – in a live Instagram video, Younis describes how he was harassed when he was 22 by a dentist.
It is the first time men have joined what has been dubbed as Egypt’s “MeToo” moment, which began this summer when Ahmed Bassem Zaki was arrested after a number of women accused him of sexual assault and harassment online.
A wave of social media campaigns and support followed his arrest and put pressure on authorities to address sexual harassment in a country that usually blames victims rather than perpetrators.
What followed was calls for justice for the victim of a gang rape in 2014 of an 18-year-old girl in the luxury Fairmont Hotel in Cairo.
The men taped the attack then shared it between them in a WhatsApp group.
There was relief after the public prosecutor ordered the arrest of the young men accused, despite fears they would not because they were the sons of wealthy businessmen.
Four were arrested in Lebanon after an Interpol operation found that they had fled there. Two were arrested in Egypt.
However, hopes that authorities would pursue justice for the victim were dashed as three female witnesses were arrested and investigated for drug abuse, inciting debauchery and participating in an orgy.
Websites loyal to the regime claimed they were part of a network of homosexuals spreading AIDS. Egypt has a history of persecuting its LGBTQ community.
The prosecutor’s office said the three women were referred to a government laboratory for a drugs test and had been referred for a physical examination.
The women were also smeared online, despite celebrations surrounding new legislation in Egypt which pledged to protect the identities of female victims and witnesses of sexual harassment.
Egyptian activists believe this proves the Egyptian authorities were complicit in helping the perpetrators escape.
Investigative journalist Hisham Allam has been accused of attempted rape.