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Amnesty slams Egypt for forced 'virginity tests'

CAIRO (AFP) - Amnesty International on Wednesday condemned the "shocking" treatment of women protesters in Egypt after serious allegations that the army subjected them to torture and forced "virginity tests".

The London-based rights group said that army officers violently cleared Cairo's Tahrir Square, the focus of the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak to resign last month, and held at least 18 women in military detention.

Egyptian army soldiers guard the entrance of Egypt's stock exchange, background, during it's reopening session after a nearly two-month closure, in Cairo. (AP-Yonhap News)
Egyptian army soldiers guard the entrance of Egypt's stock exchange, background, during it's reopening session after a nearly two-month closure, in Cairo. (AP-Yonhap News)


Women protesters said they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to "virginity checks" and threatened with prostitution charges, Amnesty said.

"The Egyptian authorities must halt the shocking and degrading treatment of women protesters," the rights group demanded.

"All security and army forces must be clearly instructed that torture and other ill-treatment, including forced 'virginity tests', will no longer be tolerated, and will be fully investigated.

"Those found responsible for such acts must be brought to justice and the courageous women who denounced such abuses be protected from reprisals."

Amnesty condemned forced virginity tests as "utterly unacceptable" and intended to "degrade women".

"Women and girls must be able to express their views on the future of Egypt and protest against the government without being detained, tortured, or subjected to profoundly degrading and discriminatory treatment," it said.

Amnesty said the 18 women were initially taken to a Cairo Museum annex where they were reportedly handcuffed, beaten with sticks and hoses, given electric shocks in the chest and legs, and called "prostitutes".

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that women were being shut out of political life in the aftermath of democracy revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.

"In Egypt, the women who marched for freedom in Tahrir Square are now shut out of the committees and the councils deciding the shape of Egypt's new democracy," Clinton said.

"The Constitutional Committee has not a single woman member," she said.

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앰네스티: "이집트군, 여성시위대 고문, 알몸수색"

이집트군이 여성 시위대에게 고문을 가하고 처녀성 검사를 강요했다는 주장이 제기됐다.

인권단체 국제앰네스티는 이집트군이 지난달 열린 반정부 시위의 중심지였던 카 이로 타흐리르 광장에서 폭력을 동원해 시위대를 해산시키면서 최소 18명의 여성을 구금했다고 23일 밝혔다.

이들은 카이로 박물관 부속건물에 끌려가 곤봉과 호스로 구타를 당하고 전기 고 문을 당했을 뿐 아니라 남성 군인이 사진을 찍는 가운데 알몸 수색을 당했으며 강제 로 처녀성 검사까지 받았다고 주장했다고 국제앰네스티는 전했다.

국제앰네스티는 처녀성 검사를 강요하는 것은 여성을 모멸하는 행위로 절대로 용인할 수 없다고 비난했다.

또 "이집트 당국은 여성 시위대에 대한 충격적이고 모욕적인 행위를 중단해야 한다"며 "이런 행위의 책임자들은 법에 따라 처벌받고 학대행위를 고발한 용감한 여 성들은 보복당하지 않도록 보호받아야 한다"고 주장했다.

(연합뉴스)

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