Hope turns to despair as Egypt arrests witnesses to alleged 2014 gang rape

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Activists say detentions break promise to protect those standing up to sexual assault

Egyptian security forces have arrested six witnesses, including three women, in an investigation into an alleged gang-rape case previously hailed as a watershed moment for women’s rights.

Feminist campaigners and a researcher from the organisation Human Rights Watch said six people had been arrested overnight in their homes by the country’s powerful National Security Agency, including a woman seized from her car in front of her building. Another was arrested at her holiday home after the NSA could not find her at her Cairo address.

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