As crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Square yesterday celebrated the election victory of Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, things turned ugly: Mobs sexually assaulted at least five women, CNN reports. Graphic video of one attack shows a woman stripped and bloodied, facing continued attacks even as police take her to their vehicle. Seven men have been arrested following the video's appearance online, al Arabiya reports. A security official tells AFP the victim was a 19-year-old student. Those arrested were also accused of three additional cases of sexual harassment. The news comes days after Egypt's outgoing president outlawed sexual harassment in the country for the first time, CNN notes.
The attacks have prompted an outcry, not least from the "I Saw Harassment" campaign tracking sexual violence in the country: "It is shameful that the security leaders of the Ministry of Interior did not take into account any security measures or plans to prevent such incidents," the campaign says in a statement. Local media is also under fire; one reporter describing harassment on the scene apologized after remarking, "They are happy, huh?" Such an amused response isn't unusual, the New York Times reports, and mob assaults aren't new in Tahrir Square (CBS reporter Lara Logan was assaulted in 2011). A state-affiliated group, the National Council of Women, blames a conspiracy of "unknown entities" aiming to "taint the image of (Egypt's) democratic celebration."