A set of videos have been circulating across various mass media mediums as well as Facebook that include a video in which military police soldiers are seen assaulting a veiled young woman, unveiling her face, disrobing her, dragging her along the ground and beating her up with their boots all over her body. Another video reveals the assault on an elderly woman, who is seen being pulled by her hair and beaten up by military men holding batons. Moreover, a number of young women have been arrested and beaten up, among whom some lie injured in hospitals suffering from deteriorated health conditions. They have been additionally subjected to sexual harassment and threatened with rape. The list is long and includes among others: Abeer Said Mohamed Mostafa – Samar Mohamed Saad Abu El Maaty – Sara Ali Mohamed El Said – Yousra Salah Abeed Metwali – Rasha Khaled Gad Abd El Mawgod – Marwa Said Seif El Din (in hospital) – Nema Ali Saeed Muslim (in hospital) – Hend Nafea Badawi (in hospital) – Hadeer Farouk Abd El Aziz (in hospital).
These assaults come in the context of acts of violence committed by military police forces in an attempt to forcefully disperse the Cabinet sit-in. These incidents remind us of the blatant attacks on women political activists and journalists who took part in the demonstrations held at the Lawyers’ and Journalists’ Syndicates in protest against the referendum on constitutional amendments that took place on 25 May 2005. They also bring to our minds the violations against young women during the earlier attempt at dispersing the Tahrir sit-in by force on 9 March 2011, after which the arrested young women were subjected to the so-called “virginity tests”.
Once again, we find the same repressive policies being used, among which we see the targeting of women’s bodies with the aim of shaking young women’s determination and resistance as well as that of their male peers in the protest movement. This comes as a continuation of all the crimes committed by the previous regime to forcefully disperse peaceful sit-ins and demonstrations.
The undersigned organizations, therefore, express their condemnation and full rejection of all forms of oppression against male and female protesters at the Egyptian Cabinet headquarters, and demand the following:
- Ceasing all forms of violence committed against male and female protesters.
- An immediate and just investigation by an independent judicial body, that would take all the necessary procedures against those found guilty.
The undersigned organizations ascertain that these oppressive practices will not deter male and female protesters from advancing and continuing their struggle to achieve the revolution’s demands: freedom, dignity and social justice.
The Task Force of Combating Sexual Violence
Coalition of Egyptian Feminist Organizations:
- CEDAW Egypt Coalition
- The Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement
- Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
- The Egyptian Association for Family Development
- Omi Association for Rights and Development
- Appropriate Communications Center for Development (ACT)
- Woman Development Forum
- New Woman Foundation
- Women and Memory Forum
- Helwan Association for Community Development (Bashayer)
- The Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance
- Nazra for Feminist Studies
- Sahm El Thiqa Association
- The Arab Office for Law
- The Arab Association for supporting Civil Society and Human Rights
- Al Sawahelaiya Association for Community Development
- Port Fouad Association for Childhood and Family Care
- Kalmitna Association for Dialogue and Development
- Mobadroon for Supporting Cultural Development and Media
- Al Ganob Center for Human Rights
- Al Shaheed Center For Defending Rights
- Cairo Center for Development