Vigilantes fight harassment on the streets of Cairo


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The Independent Online

In September the BBC reported fears that sexual harassment was reaching "epidemic proportions" in Egypt. One study held that 80% of Egyptian women had some experience of it.The tables may not have turned yet, but the chronic problem is at last being addressed - as groups of outraged vigilantes chase down and shame offenders on the streets.

The New York Times reports that citizens groups have started to patrol Cairo. With the police and interior ministry largely uninterested in offering protection, these groups confront wayward men, either hauling them to a police station or taking justice into their own hands. During a recent patrol, the leader of one group says "we caught some harassers, sprayed them with paint and published their pictures everywhere".

A spokesman for President Mohamed Morsi says more than one thousand complaints of harassment were received over the Eid al-Adha holiday and the president has ordered authorities to investigate.