Egypt bill grants anonymity to victims in sexual assault cases
The bill was passed shortly after the arrest of the suspect, Ahmed Bassam Zaki, on Friday.
The 22-year-old Egyptian student is accused of rape by 50 different women in a high-profile case that stirred debates on social media.
Both women and men used a hashtag that named the alleged rapist and anonymously detailed harrowing accounts of sexual and physical violence, creating an anonymous equivalent of the #MeToo movement, according to activists.
While sexual harassment and assault are common in Egypt, victims face many obstacles barring them from speaking out, including pressure from family members or fears of victim-blaming.
Under the proposals, the victims' identities could only be revealed to a court, or upon request, to defendants.
In the case of Zaki, the victims reportedly filed their cases after the arrest.
According to Egyptian media, Zaki was arrested before any of the victims had filed a case with the Public Prosecution, based on a report from the National Council of Women (NCW) which used social media claims.
Read also: 'Educate, partner up!' Could Egypt's growing sexual harassment problem usher in a digital #MeToo?