“We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place,” Egyptian general to CNN.
This is the justification that a general with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, now running Egypt [note: appointed by ousted dictator President Hosni Mubarak prior to his departure] gave to a CNN reporter on the “condition of anonymity.” This senior general must have felt that once it was explained, the world, including Amnesty International would finally understand, throw up their arms and say, “but of course.”
I previously wrote about these virginity tests, a humiliating form of abuse meant to demean women, that happened as the military began to crack down on lingering protesters at Tahir Square after the Jan. 25th uprising. The general’s admission was far from shocking. Amnesty International already had the testimony of the women which unfortunately laid out the immature, disgusting and grossly vulgar actions of the military which is now charged with overseeing the implementation of freedom and democracy:
Amnesty International interviewed one young women who claimed “after she was arrested and taken to a military prison in Heikstep, she was made, with the other women, to take off all her clothes to be searched by a female prison guard, in a room with two open doors and a window. During the strip search, Salwa Hosseini said male soldiers were looking into the room and taking pictures of the naked women. The women were then subjected to ‘virginity tests’ in a different room by a man in a white coat. They were threatened that “those not found to be virgins” would be charged with prostitution.”
Amnesty International has requested an investigation. Based on the senior general’s excuse, it’s unlikely. Egypt’s protests followed the overthrow of the Tunisian government where excitement and energy reached around the world, as people secretly rooted for ordinary citizens tired of oppressive governments. Now it all seems in vain.