Hundreds in Cairo protest against acquittal of virginity tests defendant

Hundreds in Cairo protest against acquittal of virginity tests defendant

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Fri, 16/03/2012 - 18:00

About 300 men and women protested outside the High Court of Justice Friday to decry the acquittal of a military doctor accused of conducting virginity tests on female activists early last year.

The demonstrators chanted: “No military, no Brotherhood, the revolution is still in the square,” referring to Tahrir Square, and “Egypt’s girls are a red line.” A number of women’s rights activists took part in the protest.

The protesters showed solidarity with Samira Ibrahim, the first alleged victim to bring the issue public and sue the military.

“I [followed] all forms of litigation at the domestic level, and soon I will resort to the African Commission on Human and People's Rights, as stipulated in the law and the Egyptian constitution, to get my retribution,” Ibrahim told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Ibrahim added that she would seek to prosecute the generals of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for ordering the virginity tests. On several occasions since March, military generals have publicly admitted the tests were carried out in order to protect the army against accusations of rape.

Rasha Abdel Rahman, who has said she was subject to a virginity test in a military prison on 9 March 2011, said she has filed a claim with the attorney general against the SCAF, accusing the generals of ordering virginity tests on detained women.

Omar Ahmed, an executive committee member of the Egyptian Women's Union, said the Friday protest was against the unjust practices of the military junta against women since early last year.

Ahmed told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the women subjected to virginity tests are a symbol of the Egyptian revolution and that the union will continue supporting them until they get their rights.

A Cairo court cleared the accused military doctor on Saturday, citing contradictions between witnesses' testimonies.