brutality, extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances, torture and other forms of cruel and inhuman practices - and the fall of the regime was seen by many as a new dawn for Egypt. This vision of a new Egypt where rights are respected has been tainted in many ways, including fresh allegations that the Egyptian army subjected women to forced "virginity tests" and other forms of torture, a few weeks after a repressive regime was toppled.
According to Amnesty International, 18 women were arrested in Tahrir Square on 9 March when the army was ordered to clear the square of protesters after Hosni Mubarak was kicked out of office. The women were allegedly strip searched, photographed naked by male soldiers, beaten, subjected to electric shocks and virginity tests. Out of the 18 women arrested, only 1 was released hours later while the other 17 were transferred to a military prison.
Earlier today, Amnesty International called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate these serious allegations and urged members of the medical profession to refrain from conducting virginity tests because the purpose of the "test" is to "degrade" women.
It is my opinion that the so-called "virginity test" strips victims of dignity and privacy. The bizarre practice is also discriminatory since only women have to face the ordeal.
The Egyptian army is a trusted and respected institution in Egypt, but such a degrading practice sanctioned by military personnel must be fearlessly condemned.
You're encouraged to sign a petition by Amnesty International USA calling for an investigation and an end to forced virginity testing in Egypt.
Training materials on the investigation and documentation of sexual and gender-based violence - Last year, the organisation I worked for (the Institute for International Criminal Investigations in The Hague) was contracted by the Foreign and Commonwea...
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