Associated Press, Published: May 30
CAIRO — Activists and bloggers are pressing Egypt’s military rulers to investigate accusations of serious abuses against protesters, including claims that soldiers subjected female detainees to so-called “virginity tests.”
But one general used a news conference to make negative remarks about women who mingle with men during the sit-ins and suggested lewd acts were taking place in protest camps.
“There were girls with young men in one tent. Is this rational? There were drugs; pay attention!” Gen. Ismail Etman, the council spokesman, said at the end of March.
One of the women arrested, Salwa al-Husseini, gave a detailed account at a news conference in March of her treatment and said she was made to undergo a virginity test.
She said she was slapped in the face and subjected to electric shocks in her legs before being taken to a military prison.
“When we went to the military prison, me and the girls, we were placed in a room with two doors and a window. The two doors were wide open,” she said. “The girl takes off all her clothes to be searched while there were cameras outside filming to fabricate prostitution charges against us later on,” she added.
“The girl who says she is single, she undergoes a test by someone; we don’t know if he is a soldier or some kid on their behalf,” she said.
Amnesty said in its report that one of the women told her jailers she was a virgin but was beaten and given electric shocks when the test supposedly proved otherwise.
“Forcing women to have ‘virginity tests’ is utterly unacceptable,” the Amnesty report said. “Its purpose is to degrade women because they are women.”