Posted November 14, 2018 05:10:07 Egyptian police say they have arrested a man in the capital, Cairo, on a charge of making indecent photographs of children.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi says the arrest is a result of a national crisis and that the investigation is “the result of an urgent and strong reaction to the growing violence in Egypt”.
The man was taken into custody after an investigation into the sexual exploitation of children at schools in the southern city of Port Said, which was launched by Sisi in September.
“The investigation into this case has led to the arrest of a man who has been accused of committing indecent images against minors, including in public schools, and is under police investigation,” said a statement issued on Thursday by the Interior Ministry.
The ministry added the man had been held in custody for more than two months, and that he would appear in court later on Thursday.
In December, the Interior Minister announced the creation of a special task force to tackle the issue of child sexual exploitation.
Authorities have been under pressure since last summer to tackle what has been dubbed the “sex crime epidemic” in Egypt, where thousands of children are believed to have been sexually exploited in schools and factories across the country.
More than 300 people were arrested during a crackdown on sexual exploitation in October, according to the Egyptian Observatory for Human Rights, while dozens of police officers have been killed.
The ministry’s statement said that the arrests come a day after a man was arrested on suspicion of raping a 14-year-old girl.
This is a first in Egypt and I would like to thank the Egyptian police for this first case, it was a huge step forward, said Mohamed El-Sayed, director of the Human Rights Center at the University of Cairo.
El-Says also said he hoped the new measures would not result in the continuation of the wave of sexual exploitation and violence.
Last week, Egypt’s interior ministry said the number of child sex trafficking cases had increased to 4,000, with more than 20,000 cases reported in the first nine months of 2018.
Sexual exploitation and abuse of minors is a major concern in Egypt.
Children as young as five are believed be trafficked for sexual exploitation, but the vast majority of cases are reported to authorities.