Govt apology over rape case

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has apologised and agreed to pay compensation after it failed to properly help a British woman after she was raped by a military officer in Egypt.

FCO failed to accompany woman after assault

Ms M's ordeal began when she was stopped at a checkpoint while travelling in the Sinai region and a man in plain clothes, who she believed to be a military officer, told her she would not be able to continue her journey, took her to a place where he said she could sleep and then raped her.

The following day she contacted the FCO and appealed for advice.

Later that morning when she went to report the attack to the tourist police she found herself in a room with a number of armed plain-clothes officers - a situation she described as "extremely intimidating".

She was told that in order to complete her complaint she would have to go to military headquarters, something she felt she had no choice but to comply with despite being reluctant to go.

Ms M said she was finally allowed out shortly before 3am so that she could try to obtain antiretroviral drugs, on the understanding she would return at 9am to complete her statement.

When she was also required to re-enact what happened when she was assaulted, including demonstrating the positions she had been forced into.

While Ms M was in telephone contact with the embassy she said it would have made a "huge difference" it she had be told that an official could actually have been with her.

FCO pays compensation to woman raped in Egypt

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has apologised and agreed to pay compensation after it failed to properly help a British woman after she was raped by a military officer in Egypt.

A investigation by the Parliamentary Ombudsman Dame Julie Mellor has found the FCO was guilty of "maladministration and injustice" after the woman turned to it for help when she was assaulted in May 2011.

The FCO have apologised to a woman raped in Egypt for not providing more help.
The FCO have apologised to a woman raped in Egypt for not providing more help. Credit: Johnny Green/PA

In her report, Dame Julie said that although the woman - referred to only as Ms M - had clearly been frightened and vulnerable, officials at the British Embassy in Cairo failed to explain clearly how they could help her.

They did not arrange a medical examination or offer to accompany her to a hospital and had no knowledge of post-exposure prophylaxis - a treatment which can prevent HIV infection after the virus has entered the body.

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