Thousands of Egyptians Protest Violence Against Women

Posted December 23rd, 2011 at 11:45 am (UTC-5)
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Thousands of Egyptians have rallied in Cairo and several other cities, demanding the country's interim military rulers apologize for recent violence against female protesters.

The rally, dubbed the “Friday of regaining honor,” follows a week in which at least 17 anti-government protesters were killed during clashes with Egyptian security forces.

Many Egyptians were outraged after video footage of one the protests showed a female demonstrator being beaten, dragged and stripped by a group of soldiers.

Female demonstrator Samah Ibrahim said in spite of the violence, she was not afraid to take part in Friday's protest.

“I'm a woman and I'm here to protest and I'm not afraid to be shot dead. Where are all of those people who won the election, where they are now?”

The military council has said it “regrets” the violence against women, and said it would take legal action against those responsible for the abuse.

Some demonstrators also renewed calls for military rulers to speed up their plans to transfer power to a civilian government.

Meanwhile, supporters of the interim government held a separate rally elsewhere in Cairo.

The military is overseeing a three-month parliamentary election process and has promised to hand power to an elected president by July 2012.

But some activists accuse the council of manipulating the country's transition process to retain permanent powers and have called for a presidential vote as early as January.

In another development, Amnesty International urged Egypt's military rulers to “uphold the right to peaceful demonstrations.”

The international rights group issued a statement on Friday, in response to the violence against female and opposition protesters.