Ganzoury's event agency organized a party in 2014 that's now associated with a horrific crime.
In July, allegations emerged that an 18-year-old woman was drugged and gang raped on the night of one of Ganzury's events in 2014. The party, which featured Dutch DJ Joris Voorn and took place at Cairo's Fairmont Nile City hotel (pictured right), was hosted by Ganzoury's company, but the crime occurred at a private afterparty in the hotel that wasn't affiliated with Ganzoury, according to independent news site Egyptian Streets. The incident, which is currently being investigated by Egypt's Prosecutor General, was initially reported by Assault Police, an Instagram account dedicated to helping victims of sexual violence. Unmarried Egyptians of different genders are not legally allowed to rent hotel rooms and the Fairmont Nile City has since pledged to assist authorities on the case.
In August, several people, including the well-known entertainment magnate Ganzoury, were arrested and detained, news agencies reported. However, the exact nature of Ganzoury's charges remain unclear. A person with knowledge of the matter told Human Rights Watch (HRW) that the rape survivor did not accuse Ganzoury of any wrongdoing. HRW also noted that several websites have launched a smear campaign against Ganzoury "based on his perceived sexual orientation."
Ganzoury's agency, byGanz, gave RA the following statement: "Ahmed Ganzoury is not connected to the case, nor is he responsible for anything that happens after any of the parties he organises or outside the jurisdiction of the event doors. Despite the above, Ahmed Ganzoury is still under detention pending investigation and it's unclear how long that might take. We have faith in the Egyptian judiciary system and that he will be released sooner rather than later. byGanz does not tolerate or condone any sort of harassment or drug consumption in our events, in fact, we are known to the most strict organisers when it comes to these matters and the security of our guests. Many people have been banned from our events for those exact reasons over the years."
byGanz is a big player in Egypt's commercial electronic music scene, and it has put together festivals such as K, Bye! and 2nd Sun.
According to a September article from the Middle East Eye that cited Ganzoury's relatives, the businessman is not one of the accused rapists but rather a witness who was arrested in his house. "He was kidnapped and we have not been able to provide him with legal assistance nor [coronavirus] face masks and sanitisers," a relative of Ganzoury told the Middle East Eye.
Ganzoury is also excluded from a list of six perpetrators that's been widely circulated on social media. Pictures and names of the men, who hail from wealthy families, have flooded Twitter under the hashtag "#FairmontIncident" in recent months.
The Fairmont news comes amid a sweeping movement for sexual justice in Cairo that's been described as Egypt's "Me Too" moment. Many initially welcomed the government's swift action on the case but the official investigation has been marred by reports of Egyptian authorities acting unethically and abusively.
This piece was last updated at 20:36 BST, Thursday, October 15th.