Egyptian President Calls Sexual Harassment an "Alien Phenomenon"

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who was inaugurated on Sunday amidst mass sexual assaults in Tahrir Square, called sexual harassment in the country an "alien phenomenon" in a statement today.

Through his spokesman Ehab Badawi, Sisi responded to reports of rampant sexual harassment and violence against women during the weekend's inaugural celebrations. He called for a return to the "'real and moral' values of the country's streets," according to the AP. He also called for more decisive implementation of a new law that makes sexual harassment a crime punishable by up to five years in jail. (Prior to the introduction of the law last week, there was only a vague offense called "indecent assault.")

Still, women's groups say much more needs to be done to combat "mass sexual rape and mass sexual assault" in the country. Twenty-nine groups released a report Monday citing 250 incidents of mass rape between November 2012 and January 2014. Women in the country say the violence has gotten worse since Hosni Mubarak's ouster in 2011.

On Monday, a video of a 19-year-old being sexually assaulted by at least seven men in Tahrir Square surfaced on YouTube. Since then, seven men (likely those appearing in the video) have been arrested for "harassing several girls." Three of them have been charged with "sexual assault under the threat of force and attempted rape," according to the AP.

[Image via AP]