Last Tuesday May 10 , the Egyptian Public prosecution publicly declares the sentence to be applied upon the five convicts behind Bassant Khaled’s case, the latter being a 17-year-old girl who took her own life after the scandal that followed from the unsolicited dissipation of fabricated pictures of her across Kafr El Zayat, a district lying in upper Egypt under the Gharbeyya government. The sentence goes as follows: the first three – those who committed the acts of blackmailing and fabricating – get 15 years of imprisonment, while the latter two, who spread the pictures, get 5 year.
Bassant, after rejecting a rather coercive invitation to form a “connection” with some guy, faces the consequences of her courageous self-assertion. Not very long after, the guy, along with the remaining 4, photoshopped her pictures by putting her face in a derogatory fashion on another woman’s body and spread those pictures across the internet for the whole town to bear witness to. Naturally, the pictures did not take long to reach the members of her household, particularly her father. Various claims are made in regards to how matters ensued from there, but, immediately after the news of her death went viral, many people reported that she received little to no emotional support from her parents, with her dad locking her up inside her own room and forbidding her to see the light of day. Shortly after her parents merciless attitude towards her, which was mainly conveyed through wide forms of accusation that fall under the “local defamation” thematic, Bassant writes a suicide letter saturated with a pathos of utter powerlessness, resentment, and an awareness of collective unfair treatment, followed by ingesting a type of lethal pills (that are not disclosed in this article for discretion) that immediately killed her.
ماما ياريت تفهميني انا مش البنت دي ودي صور متركبه و الله العظيم و قسماً بالله دي ما انا ، انا يا ماما بنت صغيرة مستهلش اللي بيحصلي ده انا جالي اكتئاب بجد ، انا يا ماما مش قادرة انا بتخنق وتعبت بجد. حرام عليكم انا متربية احسن تربيةبسنت خالد
During the trial in court, the defendants’ lawyer claimed that the photos were authentic and not fabricated, and that the victim took them of her own volition, to spare the defendants a well-served penalty but of no avail. The father, from the start to finish, felt little to no guilt for her ruthless attacks on his daughter, despite saying otherwise, because Bassant “smeared the honor and reputation of the family”.
This incident is reflective of nationwide rigid and unapologetic mindset towards women and girls that, despite the efforts made by feminist social media activists as of the recent years, continue to permeate our society unbudged.
co-writer: Salma Mohamed Abdelrauof