Egypt Independent

35 suspects referred to urgent trial over orphans sexual assaults



Chairman of the Administrative Prosecution Authority

Rashida Fathalla referred 35 suspects, including Solidarity Ministry officials, to an urgent trial on Tuesday, over charges of blatant negligence of their duties, which led to the sexual abuse of orphans at Ain Shams orphanage.

The list included leaders of a number of Social Solidarity departments, three consecutive heads of Ain Shams neighborhood, the secretary general of Ain Shams neighborhood, the medical director of Ain Shams neighborhood, a director of a primary school in Ain Shams and others.

The Administrative Prosecution conducted investigations into allegations of sexual abuse of orphans, broadcasted in an episode of “10 PM” program on Dream Channel on February 26.

The former social specialist with Fatma al-Zahraa orphanage was the host of the episode. She complained about the spread of sexual assault and homosexuality among the children of the orphanage. Fatma al-Zahraa orphanage is affiliated to Enkaz al-Tefula (Rescuing Childhood) Association.

The social specialist said she received a complaint from the orphanage supervisor saying that when she was helping an orphan during a shower, she noticed that his anus looked abnormal. A psychological session was held with the child who admitted another secondary school orphan sexually assaulted him.

The specialist added she immediately presented the complaint to her senior executive leaders of Enkaz al-Tefula Association who responded saying that such acts are expected in any gathering of children of the same sex and that they were aware of them.

They also informed her that the child can not be examined by a doctor, as the orphanage has no specialist, according to the social specialist’s statements.

She added that the association officials refused to separate adult children from other minor children at the orphanage.

On February 26, 2017, the social specialist was arbitrarily transferred by the director of the orphanage away from the place, she said.

The complainant also noted that other social specialists and supervisors have submitted similar complaints of abnormal sexual practices between the children since 2012.

She added the administration and officials of Ain Shams Social Solidarity Department did not take any action regarding the complaints or to protect the children, which led to the increase of such assaults in an unprecedented rate to the extent that some adult boys sexually assaulted children in primary and preparatory schools and filmed the assaults on phone cameras to demean and humiliate the victim later on.

Medical examination that was conducted later on the orphans showed that 35 out of 80 children were subjected to recurruring sexual assaults, according to the social specialist.

The investigation revealed that the health insurance doctor at the primary school, where a large number of the orphanage studied, discovered that 34 out of 45 orphans suffered from sexual assaults but took no action regarding the incident.

On February 27, 2017, public prosecutors, accompanied by doctors to examine children, inspected the headquarters of the orphanage.

Doctors reported that 16 children were sexually assaulted repeatedly, and that some of them had anal fracture requiring urgent surgical intervention due to frequent sexual assaults.

The investigations revealed a number of other irregularities in the orphanage, such as the absence of a doctor or a nurse or any kind of medical care, as well as the lack of awareness campaigns among children of the seriousness of such anomalies.

They also reported more than 80 children in the orphanage, although the maximum capacity is no more than 50 children.

A number of financial irregularities were also revealed during the inspection.

The prosecutors referred the officials to an urgent trial due to violating the provisions of the Egyptian Child Law and severe negligence of their duties.

Edited Translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm