The suicide of 17-year old Pasant Khaled from Gharbiya governorate has sent shock-waves across Egyptian society, after she was the victim of e-blackmail using fake inappropriate photographs of her.
The pictures were modified by some ill-intentioned young men using photo-editing programs and shared on social media after the victim refused to get into a relationship with them.
With the spread of various means of communication, e-blackmail crimes have increased – and thousands of girls who share their photos on various social networking websites are usually the victims.
Article 25 of the Egyptian Penal Code stipulates imprisonment for a period of no less than six months as a punishment for e-blackmailers and those who steal photos and information from others.
Imprisonment punishment ranges between six months and two years in the event of threats or blackmail using multiple means of communication.
The blackmailer’s goals are usually either material, such as obtaining money or sex, or moral, such as the separation of the victim from their partner or the destruction of the victim’s business or life.
The Sada al-Balad website published steps that users of social media networking websites must follow in case they are subjected to e-blackmail with pictures or personal conversations.
What to do do if you are subjected to e-blackmail?
-If someone sends you fake pictures and threatens you with it, avoid showing any weakness in front of them and cut all communication.
– Do not go along with the blackmailer and do not give in to any of their requests, even if they threaten you that they will share your photos or information on social networking websites, instead seek help from someone you trust.
– Do not believe all the blackmailer’s words or threats no matter how much they pressure you.
– Avoid deleting any message or pictures used to threat you, and keep the messages that contains the harassment and blackmailing.
– Head to the police station to file a report with the incident and save the text of the messages in the official records of the police.
– If the blackmailer threatens you through your Facebook account, you can report their account to the Facebook administration here. Facebook will close the offending account and prevent the IP of the blackmailer’s device from creating any other account on the Facebook platform.
– Change the password for all your accounts on social media, and do not share your personal photos on any social media.
– Remember that filing a report with the incident must be within three months of the incident in accordance to Article Three of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
– The most important step that you must take is to submit a report on the official website of the Ministry of Interior at the following link.
– Call hotline (108), a line dedicated to reporting cyber-crime operating 24 hours a day.
– Immediately notify the Computer and Information Networks Crimes Control Department at the Ministry of Interior headquarters in the Fifth Settlement, New Cairo, by attending in person at the headquarters or calling the following phone numbers: 27928484 – 27926071 – 27921490.
– You can also head to the Internet Investigations headquarters in Abbasiya.