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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-31-11

Virginity Checks Performed During Egypt Protests

A senior Egyptian general confirmed findings in an Amnesty International report that during the uprisings in Egypt, military officials conducted virginity checks on women who were arrested during the uprisings. The general stated that the virginity checks were conducted so that the women could not claim that they had been raped while in military custody.

In its report, Amnesty International indicated that over 18 women were tortured, beaten, and subjected to electric shocks while being held in military detention. Amnesty International strongly denounced the treatment of the women in its statement: "Forcing women to have 'virginity tests' is utterly unacceptable. Its purpose is to degrade women because they are women. All members of the medical profession must refuse to take part in such so-called 'tests'....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."

The general defended the virginity checks stating, "The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine. These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protestors in Tahrir Square."


Media Resources: Los Angeles 5/31/11; Amnesty International 5/23/11


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