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Thousands of women mass in Tahrir Square


Summary of story from The New York Times, December 20, 2011

Thousands of women massed in Tahrir Square, Cairo, on Tuesday in protest at the treatment of women by the military police under Egypt’s continued military rule.

Many of the protestors held posters of the image of a group of soldiers pulling the headscarf off a woman (see WVoN story) to reveal her blue bra as one raises a boot to kick her.

The women’s protest came on the fifth day of violent clashes between Egyptian soldiers and protesters.

On Monday, General Adel Emara of the ruling military council denied that soldiers had been responsible for any violence or abuses over the weekend, portraying them as victims of provocateurs.

“The armed forces and the police pledged not to use violence against protesters actively or even verbally,” he said.

Instead, he said, the protesters had deliberately provoked soldiers into clashes as part of a plot “to destroy the state.”

Protest leaders said his remarks were the clearest sign yet of the depth of the military’s determination to hold on to power even after the new Parliament is seated early next year.

“We are definitely now living in a military coup,” said Shady el-Ghazaly Harb, a young liberal organizer. “And the whole world should know.”

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