Photo: Courtesy of the family
Yusuf al-Assam
Photo: Courtesy of the family

Israeli youth imprisoned in Egypt for 'offending a woman's honor'

Yusuf al-Assam was on a family vacation in Sharm El Sheikh when he accidentally hit a young Egyptian woman while going down a water slide. But even though the two sides worked out the matter between them, he remains in prison.

Yusuf al-Assam, an 18-year-old Israeli citizen, has been imprisoned in Egypt for almost a year after being convicted of offending a woman's honor during a trip to a water park.



Al-Assam's family, who live in the Bedouin town of Tel Sheva in southern Israel, strongly criticized Israel's handling of their son's case.


Al-Assam was arrested last April while on a family vacation at a resort in Sharm El Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula. He was in his last year of high school and taking his final exams.


Yusuf al-Assam (Photo: Courtesy of the family)
Yusuf al-Assam (Photo: Courtesy of the family)


"He was playing with his little nine-year-old brother on the water slides and hit some girl," said his father Khaled. "When he got off the slide, she slapped him."


The father said the rest of the family was at a different part of the resort at the time, and he learned of the incident from his younger son. "There was commotion, and my son was detained until the police came and took him away," he said.


The young Egyptian woman filed a complaint with the police, claiming Yusuf groped her chest.


Since then, according to his family, he was unjustly charged, convicted and sentenced to a year in Egyptian prison, despite the fact the two sides had reached a resolution. Yusuf's family financially compensated the young woman, who in turn sought to withdraw her complaint.


"In Egypt, even if you murder someone, as soon as the family withdraws their complaint, it is ended. That's the procedure there," the father said, adding he didn't understand why his son was still imprisoned in Cairo.


Khaled criticized Israel's Foreign Ministry, saying it has not done enough for his son. "They're not doing anything. He was visited twice by (representatives from) the embassy since he was transferred to Cairo, and that is it. When he was in Sinai, we were told they're not allowed to go there because it was too dangerous," he said.


The father noted that he "expects the upper echelons of the Foreign Ministry to intervene."


The Foreign Ministry said in response: "We're familiar with the case. The citizen is receiving the full consular service from the embassy in Cairo and our headquarters in Jerusalem."


פרסום ראשון: 01.23.19, 15:04
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