EGYPT: Arab Spring uprising included virginity checks for female protesters

The allegations arose in an Amnesty International report that claimed female demonstrators were beaten, given electric shocks, strip-searched, threatened with prostitution charges and forced to submit to virginity checks.

CNN (H/T RRA) – At that time, Maj. Amr Imam said 17 women had been arrested but denied allegations of torture or “virginity tests.” But now a senior general who asked not to be identified said the virginity tests were conducted and defended the practice.

“The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine,” the general said. “These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs).”

The general said the virginity checks were done so that the women wouldn’t later claim they had been raped by Egyptian authorities. “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,” the general said. “None of them were (virgins).”

Salwa Hosseini, a 20-year-old hairdresser and one of the women named in the Amnesty report, described to CNN how uniformed soldiers tied her up on the museum’s grounds, forced her to the ground and slapped her, then shocked her with a stun gun while calling her a prostitute.  There, she said, she and several of other female detainees were subjected to a “virginity test.” “We did not agree for a male doctor to perform the test,” she said. But Hosseini said her captors forced her to comply by threatening her with more stun-gun shocks.

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