A survivor of an alleged gang rape at the Fairmont Nile City hotel in 2014 filed a complaint with the National Council for Women on Monday and also intends to file a complaint with the public prosecution, according to an informed legal source who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity.
The move marks the first official step in the case since reports of the 2014 assault first emerged two weeks ago causing a stir across the country, particularly amid allegations that several of the perpetrators come from within Egypt’s elite circles.
According to Gang Rapists of Cairo, an anonymous Instagram account that has led a campaign to expose the 2014 assault, at least six men drugged the victim with GHB — commonly referred to as a “date rape” drug — abducted her to a hotel room, took turns raping her, and wrote their initials on the victim’s body. According to the account, the rapists filmed the assault and circulated the video among their acquaintances.
Gang Rapists of Cairo also indicated it had received additional testimonies of other rape cases and requested that any information or video evidence of other crimes be brought to the public prosecution in order to convict those responsible. They called for any videos of sexual assault not be circulated in order to protect the identities of the survivors.
Allegations of the 2014 Fairmont hotel rape first appeared publicly late last month on Assault Police, a social media account that ignited a firestorm in early July when it first reported on dozens of accusations of sexual assault, harassment and blackmail by Ahmed Bassam Zaki, a 21-year-old university student. Zaki is currently imprisoned in remand detention on multiple charges of harassment and sexual assault.
After putting out a call for testimony and information on the Fairmont hotel incident, the administrators of @assaultpolice suspended activity on the account and deleted their posts after they reportedly began to receive death threats. Other pages quickly sprang up, including Gang Rapists of Cairo and Catcalls of Cairo.
The National Council for Women said in a July 29 statement that it was following up on any threats received by the admins of these pages and called on anyone who was threatened to inform the council or the public prosecution.
Meanwhile, over the past two days, news outlets such as Cairo24 and Youm7, along with a number of social media pages, have run stories smearing the sexual assault survivors and their supporters in what appears to be an effort to delegitimize their claims.
The campaign around the Fairmont hotel gang rape has received wide support from artists, celebrities and media figures, including TV presenter Radwa al-Sherbiny and Omar Samra, the first Egyptian to climb Mount Everest.
Following online pressure, the Fairmont Nile City hotel issued a statement on July 31 only to remove it some hours later. In the original post, the hotel said it was aware of the allegations on social media and pledged to support and assist an investigation if and when one was opened.
In early 2014, the Fairmont hotel hosted three parties in February, March and April, according to the hotel’s Twitter page, all organized by well-known party promoter Ganzouri.