Egyptian Military Targets Female Protesters

Egyptian security forces and military are targeting female protesters, subjecting them to torture, sexual assault, and threats of rape.  The practices are similar to those employed pre-revolution, say various international and Egyptian human rights organizations.

Photo courtesy of Jezebel

Since January, it has appeared that the military was protecting protesters during a revolutionary process that ended in the overthrow of long-time president Hosni Mubarak.  With the power of the government now in the hands of the military critics say that they have resorted to the same sorts of brutality used by the former regime.

A viral video shows Egyptian soldiers beating and disrobing a female protester.  Three men expose her midriff and bra as they stomp on her stomach and batter her head with batons.  The video has drawn international scorn, including a condemnation of the “systematic degradation” of Egyptian women by U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

In response to this beating, thousands of Egyptian women took to the streets in protest.  It was the largest all-female protest since Egypt’s independence.

The Egyptian government released an apology via Facebook and expressed “great regret to the great women of Egypt for the violations that took place” and promising “all legal measures have been taken to hold accountable all those responsible for these violations.”

There is skepticism about seeing change come from the government’s response.

Violence against female protesters has a purpose.  Egypt is a patriarchal society.  Women are not supposed to express themselves publicly.  The violence is likely meant to punish those who violate this norm and deter those who might consider doing so in the future.

Via Impunity Watch.

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Filed under International Justice, Sick Sad World, War on Women

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