Assault Police is one of the main accounts tackling the issue of sexual harassment and rape in Egypt. In a very short time, they gained huge popularity among the Egyptian community because they created a much-needed platform that addresses a topic that has been neglected for years, a topic that is traditionally not open to discussion. They receive testimonies from survivors, share them with the public while maintaining anonymity, and connect them with legal and psychological experts for help.
With over 183k followers, Assault Police also contributed to amending the Egyptian laws to provide increased protection for the identities of victims of sexual assault.
Ahmed Bassam Zaki and AP’s Creation
The platform was created anonymously after several testimonies appeared online from girls who were sexually harassed or assaulted by Ahmed Bassam Zaki, a former AUC student. Their first post was on the 1st of July. They collected those testimonies and helped get the voices of these survivors out to the public, eventually gaining the attention of the mainstream media, both locally and internationally, and putting pressure on the public not to stay silent about it. The attention and pressure led to the arrest of Zaki and the case was opened by Egypt’s Public Prosecution. He was officially accused of raping two girls and assaulting another.
The Fairmont Incident
Following the case of Ahmed Bassam Zaki, another tragic incident was put under the spotlight. The case was known as the “Fairmont Incident”, where a group of men drugged and raped a young woman during a party at the Fairmont Nile City hotel in February 2014, recording video evidence that they later circulated among their social circles. Assault Police shed light on the case and encouraged others to speak up about it until the sexual offenders are brought to justice
After posting about the Fairmont Incident on their platform, and because these men were from Egypt’s elite and well-connected upper class, the admins of Assault Police received several death threats, which eventually forced them to go offline to protect themselves and their families.
Return of the Mediators
Furious about what happened to Assault Police, several other platforms were created to back them up and clarify that what they started will not end just like that, and that our voices will never be silenced again. Assault Police eventually came back stronger, calling themselves “mediators” between the survivors and the appropriate authorities, including the National Council for Women (NCW).
“Who is Assault Police?”
Last weekend, a video entitled “Who is Assault Police?” was posted online, much to the surprise of many. The video involved the founder of Assault Police, Nadeen Ashraf, finally revealing her identity to the public and explaining that, although she founded the page, there’s a whole group of people contributing to its success, referring to both the hardworking team behind it and its persistent and positive followers.
Assault Police is currently talking about sexual behavior in schools, a topic that, despite its importance, is not openly discussed due to the belief that it can be better to limit children’s social exposure in order to protect them; one more taboo that might need to be challenged.