Amnesty: Egypt’s Army to Stop Forced Virginity Tests

Posted June 27th, 2011 at 8:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Amnesty International says Egypt's military rulers have acknowledged carrying out so-called “virginity tests” on female protesters and vowed to stop the much-criticized practice.

The rights group said Monday that the head of Egypt's military intelligence, Major General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, had justified the tests as a way to “protect” the army from possible rape allegations.

But Amnesty, which discussed the issue with al-Sisi, said he pledged the military would not conduct such tests in the future.

“Virginity test” allegations first surfaced after a March 9 rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square that turned violent when men in plainclothes attacked protesters, and the army intervened forcefully to clear the area.

The rights watchdog says 17 female detainees were forced to undergo the procedure after being prodded with electric shock batons and subjected to strip searches.

The youth movement that led the 18-day uprising that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak has been sharply critical of the generals now in charge of the country.

They say since Mr. Mubarak abdicated power in February, the military has cracked down on peaceful protesters and failed to initiate a serious national political dialogue.