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Police round up teenage boys for harassment.

CAIRO: Hundreds of teenage Egyptians boys were arrested Wednesday in various areas in Cairo for sexually harassing women.

Police arrested the youngsters, 15- to 17 years-old, in several locations around the capital, including along the Nile shores as well as from schools and universities, according to news reports.

The young men are expected to get off with fines, a police official told AFP.

Some of 30 men were arrested for harassing women during the last Eid holiday after being caught red handed. One teenager was convicted and sentenced to one year in prison for sexually assaulting two women in Gamaet El-Dowal El-Arabiya Street in Mohandiseen.AaAa

This most recent roundup comes amid women's rights activists push to increase awareness about the problem facing women in the country. Despite the welcomed pressure police is placing on young men in the street, some argue that it might not be the way.

"Arresting hundreds is not the solution as the problem is mainly social," Fardouse Bahnasy, development expert and women's rights activist told Daily News Egypt. "The solution should come from within society as arresting them and putting them in jail with criminals will create a state of angry against authorities," she added.

The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights (ECWR) issued a survey this summer saying 83 percent of Egyptian women and 98 percent of foreign women in Egypt had experienced sexual harassment.

A draft law that aims to criminalize sexual harassment will be presented to the People's Assembly. The draft law calls for a LE 1,000 fine and a one-year prison sentence for those who perpetrate harassment against women in public or in the workplace.

The existing laws do not give much weight for verbal harassment and consider intentional touching to be a "sexual assault."

"We need to revive our social codes that used to shame and criminalize sexual harassment," Bahnasy said.Aa -- AFP with additional reporting by Daily News Egypt reporter Manar Ammar.

Daily NewsEgypt 2007

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Date:Nov 21, 2008
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