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Egyptian woman talks about arrest and torture by military police

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Julie Tomlin
Freelance journalist

A young Egyptian woman has spoken about her arrest and torture by military police who also subjected her to “virginity tests” during protests earlier this month.

Salwa Al-Housiny Gouda was among a group of women arrested by the military police during the evacuation of the 9 March sit-in in Tahrir Square.

Virginity checks were carried out on the unmarried women by someone who claimed to be a doctor and they were told that if he discovered that any of them wasn’t a virgin, she would be charged with prostitution (see WVoN story).

Salwa Al-Housiny Gouda said she was accused of being a prostitute and electrocuted on her legs and chest.

She described how a “colleague” was beaten and had his arms broken after he said she was his fiance and then how along with a group of young women she was forced to strip naked:

“We were placed in a room with two doors and a window, the two doors were fully opened. We begged this lady to close the door and the window… but the lady refused and a girl would have to take off ALL her clothes and be searched while cameras filmed us from outside, to help them fabricate evidence of prostitution on all of us, without any of us knowing.

We had prostitution files made on us while we were there with absolutely no clothes on. And if a girl said she was a virgin, she was subjected to a “check-up” by someone we did not know. It could have been a soldier or some kid from their behalf”.

Watch this video of her complaining about her treatment to a journalists’ syndicate press conference:

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