Egypt Denies Occasions Report That Officers Sexually Abused Ladies

2021-07-11 03:36:10

CAIRO — The Egyptian authorities has denied a report by The New York Occasions that girls who encounter the nation’s justice system danger sexual abuse throughout searches by state authorities.

The Occasions discovered a dozen girls who mentioned they have been sexually violated by officers in police stations, prisons and hospitals. Consultants mentioned that anecdotal proof urged that such incidents happen steadily.

In a press release posted on Fb and Twitter on Friday, the federal government “denied the validity” of the accusations by the ladies, saying they have been a part of an effort “to unfold rumors and lies.”

The transient assertion by the Ministry of Inside, which oversees the police and prisons, additionally mentioned that accusations of “systemic bodily violations” towards feminine detainees have been false.

The assertion didn’t determine the safety supply, point out whether or not the ladies’s claims had been investigated, or supply an evidence for the denial of a systemic drawback.

The federal government didn’t reply to a request for extra details about the assertion.

The ladies interviewed for the Occasions article stand by their tales, that are according to years of complaints of sexual abuse of ladies by the police and different justice officers. Human rights teams have documented comparable circumstances.

A police officer quoted within the article mentioned that sexual abuse of ladies by authorized authorities was “all over the place,” and that the intention was to not collect proof however to “humiliate your humanity.”

After the navy strip-searched not less than 18 girls at a protest in 2011 and subjected them to so-called virginity assessments, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was then the pinnacle of navy intelligence, promised to “change the tradition of the safety forces” and “defend detainees towards sick therapy.”

The Occasions article confirmed {that a} decade later, these modifications haven’t been made.

For the reason that article was printed final week, Egyptian human rights teams have praised the ladies on the middle of the story for coming ahead.

One human rights lawyer, Negad el-Borai, publicly known as on the nation’s prime prosecutor to open an investigation and requested Parliament to introduce laws to “assure that what was reported wouldn’t be repeated.”

Web sites affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned political group that has been designated a terrorist group by Egypt, seized on the testimonies. One web site, Rassd, copied and repackaged elements of the interviews right into a video, sprinkling in further images of ladies who seemed to be getting arrested or overwhelmed by Egyptian safety forces.

The video has had greater than 700,000 views and was shared by an Egyptian dissident whose criticism of Mr. el-Sisi impressed a uncommon wave of antigovernment protests lower than two years in the past.

Many of the girls interviewed for the article requested anonymity however 4 spoke on the document. Two have been outspoken critics of the federal government.

Asmaa Abdel Hamid, who was arrested in 2018 after protesting a rise in subway fares, mentioned she was subjected to invasive searches thrice, together with being compelled to undress in entrance of a gaggle of officers, subjected to a so-called virginity check, and penetrated anally by a jail guard utilizing her finger wrapped in a plastic bag.

Malak Elkashif, a transgender lady, was arrested in 2019 after protesting authorities negligence following a lethal practice crash. She mentioned that she was ordered to undress in entrance of an officer and was subjected to an invasive anal examination in a supposed effort to find out her intercourse.

Each girls have expressed concern that the federal government’s assertion may very well be a prelude to retaliation.

Days after he posted his demand for an investigation, Mr. El Borai, a former member of the Nationwide Council for Human Rights, eliminated the publish, citing fears by the ladies featured within the article that an uproar would result in their arrest.

For a lot of, it was the primary time they’d spoken publicly about their experiences. Ms. Abdel Hamid and Ms. Elkashif took the extra step of revealing their identities, and appeared on digicam to inform their tales.

“As a technique to overcome and doc these experiences, I made a decision to inform my story to you now,” Ms. Abdel Hamid mentioned within the interview. “I actually need to inform it.”

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