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Lebanon arrests 3 Egyptians over Cairo hotel gang rape case

Lebanon arrests 3 Egyptians over Cairo hotel gang rape case

A general view shows the skyline of the Lebanese capital Beirut at dusk on Jun 17, 2020. (Photo: AFP/PATRICK BAZ)

BEIRUT: Lebanese police announced on Saturday (Aug 29) the arrest of three Egyptian nationals accused of gang-raping a woman in a luxury Cairo hotel in 2014.

Lebanon's Internal Security Forces (ISF) said in a statement it received a letter from Interpol in Egypt on August 27 with the names of seven Egyptian nationals in Lebanon "accused of raping a girl in 2014 in a Cairo hotel".

The ISF intelligence branch "found that five of the seven had entered Lebanon previously" and that three remained in the country, according to the statement.

The three suspects were arrested on Aug 28 in the village of Fatqa in Mount Lebanon, the ISF added.

The rape allegedly took place six years ago, but the accusations only emerged online in July.

Egypt launched a probe in early August after receiving a letter from a national women's association that included a complaint from a young woman, who claimed she had been gang-raped at the Fairmont Hotel in 2014.

According to social media accounts, up to six men had drugged and raped the woman.

The arrests in Lebanon came days after Egypt detained another suspect in the case as he attempted to flee the country.

The prosecution last week it was seeking to arrest a total of nine suspects, adding that seven had fled abroad following the dissemination of their identities on social media.

Names and pictures of suspects, who appear to hail from wealthy families, have circulated online, but AFP has been unable to verify their authenticity.

The reports were widely shared, including by Assault Police, an Instagram account with more than 180,000 followers, which is dedicated to pushing for justice for rape and sexual assault survivors.

The accusations have added to Egypt's resurgent #MeToo movement, which seeks to hold sexual predators in the deeply conservative country accountable for their actions.

Source: AFP/nh

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