Associated Press
In this photo released by Middle East News Agency, the Egyptian official news agency, Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour casts his ballot in the presidential election in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, May 26, 2014.

CAIRO — Egypt's outgoing president has decreed sexual harassment a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Presidential spokesman Ehab Badawi says Interim President Adly Mansour issued the decree on Thursday.

The decree amends the country's current laws, which did not criminalize sexual harassment and only vaguely referred to such offenses as "indecent assault."

In Egypt, violence against women in public space has grown over the past three years of turmoil since the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Mansour's decree says harassers face between six months to five years in prison. The sentence is harsher if a harasser holds a position of power over the victim, like being her superior at work, being in uniform or being armed with a weapon.

Badawi says "penalties will double" for repeat offenders.