"Virginity Tests" Forced On Egyptian Women Protesters

Amnesty International is condemning the treatment of at least 18 women protesters, who as late as March 9 — a month after Mubarak stepped down — were beaten, tortured, and strip-searched. They were also examined for their "virginity" and told that if they didn't "pass," they'd be charged as prostitutes.

Says Amnesty, ‘Virginity tests' are a form of torture when they are forced or coerced." One woman reported that the strip searches were photographed by male soldiers.

Over 100 activists were detained by unidentified forces at that March 9 protest; men reported being tortured as well with "sticks, metal rods, wires, whips." Nine Egyptian human rights groups issued at a statement saying, "The crime is still going on and the perpetrators deserve a harsher punishment. The junta owes the Egyptian people an apology as they are ruling for the moment."

Nawal al-Saadawi, the 80-year-old activist who is Egypt's most prominent feminist, is in New York this week, and told The Nation of women's progress in her country,

We are furious. We participated in every part of the revolution, and then as soon as it ended we were completely isolated. The constitutional committees were all old men, so young people are also angry. But we re-established the Egyptian Women's Union and we are organizing day and night. We are demanding at least 35 percent female participation in all committees to be formed to change the constitution, at every level, as well as a secular constitution, a secular family code and total equality before the law.

Egyptian Women Protesters Forced To Take "Virginity Tests" [Amnesty]
Related: Pro-Democracy Activists Allege Torture By Egyptian Soldiers [CNN]
An Interview With Nawal El Saadawi [The Nation]