The Egyptian military may have just hit a disturbing, new low: at least 18 women who were arrested during a peaceful protest in Tahrir Square on March 9 said they were forced to take "virginity tests".
Those women were threatened with charges of prostitution if they "failed" the tests. One woman, who said she was a virgin but whose test supposedly proved otherwise, was beaten and given electric shocks. Make no doubt about it, this constitutes torture. The purpose of this test is to degrade women because they are women. This treatment is unacceptable.
Twenty-year-old Salwa Hosseini told Amnesty interviewers that she was subjected to strip searches while male soldiers watched and took pictures.
These allegations fuel rising concerns that women, who were at the forefront of the protests that led to President Mubarak's resignation, are being forced into the background in the development of a new Egypt.
The protests that began on January 25th did not occur so that Egypt could replace the shocking and degrading behavior by one regime with that of another.
Call for an immediate investigation into the forced 'virginity testing' and other acts of torture and ill-treatment committed against women in Egypt. Egyptian women will not be left behind. They stood up then to demand an end to the repression. We stand with them now to demand justice.
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