Breaking The Silence: Ahmed Zaki is Officially Under Investigation After More Than 100 Women Speak Up

By Nour El-Miligi

Sexual harassment has always been regarded as a taboo topic, especially in the Arab/Middle Eastern countries, where, unfortunately, all of the blame often falls on the survivors reporting the assaults. The blame is put on the women, often seen as provoking harassers either through their so-called revealing clothing, or for strolling down the streets at midnight, or for any number of things, forcing women and girls to pay double the price while criminals go unpunished. This culture of fear and blame has only kept survivors silent over the years, leaving space for larger, more brutal incidents to take place as harassers learn they can easily get away with their crimes. 

An Instagram account, @assaultpolice, was recently created as a space to encourage survivors to speak up about their trauma and finally break the silence. Ahmed Bassam Zaki, a sexual predator who was put under the spotlight recently for harassing and assaulting more than 100 women, many of which were minors, and even a boy who was 15 years old at the time, which prompted many to label the rapist as a pedophile as well. 

Allegations have taken social media by storm, with victims sharing their stories one after the other, a flood of shocking accounts of manipulation and assault. Allegations and confessions included many similar details of how the harasser forced them to subject to his orders and consequently blackmailed them with insults and threats to tell the girls’ families, revealing a disturbing pattern of predatory behavior; one victim even mentioned that he kept doing so for three full years.

This breakthrough, and the amazing bravery of the survivors, finally put pressure on the media to cover the incident extensively and sparked a heated conversation on both social media and in traditional media. On the daily TV show, “El Hekaya”, Presenter Amr Adib clearly explained where he stands, repeating that, “No means no,” and that in such cases there is clearly no one to blame other than the criminals who deliberately and unmercifully ruin the lives of so many. 

Moreover, TV Host Radwa El-Sherbiny, also affirmed her unconditional support for the survivors, announcing through her social media channels that she’s more than willing to stand side by side with any of the girls and women, and will go as far as supporting the victims financially to get through the legal battle ahead. Alongside El-Sherbiny, many celebrities and influencers have been contributing by posting social media videos as well, clarifying that they are totally supporting the cause and the women, including Salma Abou Deif, Tara Emad, Dina Dash, Singer Marwan Moussa and many more.

Fortunately, The National Council for Women is taking the matter seriously and is extremely willing to provide help to the survivors, investigating the accusations and taking the necessary actions. President of the Council, Maya Morsy, approached one of the girls, clarifying how strong the victims’ legal positions are and that the council will be responsible for reporting cases themselves on behalf of the girls who’re afraid to do so.

Zaki, in turn, responded to the campaign against him by telling one of his friends that he has never cried so hard because he’ll always be remembered as the harasser and that he never meant any harm to anyone as he has been suffering personal issues, asking him to pass the message on to people on social media. Yet his attempt to get people to sympathize with him only backfired as floods of criticism and mockery were shot his way once again.

Yesterday, it was reported that Zaki was called upon by the police for investigation and we’re currently waiting for further information.

There is no justification for any person to violate another person’s body and it’s our social responsibility to stand for the rights of survivors, for girls and women who must face this kind of violence on a daily basis. It’s our social responsibility to create an environment where they feel safe enough to live, and to speak up.

WE SAID THIS: What are your thoughts?

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