Egypt: Amnesty condemns "virginity tests," sexual abuse of female protesters, journalists

Amnesty International has issued a report condemning the sexual abuse of female demonstrators and reporters who were present at anti-government protests. Army officers detained the women, beat them with sticks and hoses, tortured them with electric shocks, stripped them and photographed them while naked. A man in a white lab coat forcibly performed "virginity tests" on the women. This, too, was photographed. Women deemed "not virgins," falsely or otherwise, were threatened with being "exposed as prostitutes" publicly; a condemnation that in Egypt carries with it far heavier social penalties than here in the US. Previous Boing Boing item here.


  1. I remember reading about this when it was previously mentioned. Do not recall it being mentioned in main stream media, but perhaps I missed the reporting (probably giving those news organizations too much benefit of the doubt…Wasn’t this when Charlie Sheen was out of control and was somehow worthy of national and extensive coverage?)

    Anyway, the men in Egypt took great risks in the protests. The women took far, far greater risks by standing up for liberty. I believe they knew just the kind of things they might face if detained too and they still stood up.

  2. This is horrible. But its unfortunately the direction the world is moving. Sexual harassment and rape are tools of oppression and there are a lot of would be oppressors.

    In the USA we now have a similar sort of system. Any woman who wishes to travel can be photographed naked while made to pose in front of a machine. If the machine’s operators want to further embarrass her, she will be groped publicly by lowly paid social rejects wearing soiled gloves. Sometimes they will directly feel up her genitals, even if she is menstruating. If she resists, in any way, she maybe be beaten or electrically shocked, then will be locked in a system of cages, the largest and most populated of its kind in the world.

    I’m sure the Egyptian experience is worse. But one doesn’t bargain about degrees of evil. State sponsored sexual assault is an abomination to human dignity anywhere.

  3. So, to make sure a woman hasn’t yet had her first sexual experience and is “pure of heart,” they’ll make her first sexual experience a depraved, rape-like one. This just oozes with the morality and dignity it’s supposedly protecting.

Comments are closed.