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Young woman continues her fight against Egyptian military


Summary of story from the New York Times, January 9, 2012

A young woman is to continue her fight against Egypt’s military rulers after she was subjected to a “virginity test” (see WVoN story).

It was as a result of Samira Ibrahim’s determination that an Egyptian civilian court ordered the army to end forced virginity tests on female detainees in military prisons last December.

The case is significant as it is the first time that an administrative court has challenged the authority of the military council.

Now Ibrahim is preparing to go to a military court on Sunday in an attempt to hold the officers accountable as well.

Meanwhile, human rights groups claim they have documented at least 100 cases of sexual assault by soldiers or the security police during the past year under military rule — including the anonymous woman who was seen on video being beaten and stripped by soldiers clearing Tahrir Square (see WVoN story).

The majority of cases took place during a crackdown on demonstrations that began in October and has taken more than 80 lives.

Ibrahim was one of seven women who endured the tests after they were arrested with a group of women at a rally on 9 March.

Although her father – an Islamist activist – encouraged her to file a complaint, other members of her family were concerned about the impact that speaking out would have on her life and prospects.

Ibrahim claims she received telephone calls threatening rape or death and that her case was ignored by the Egyptian media, with only international news organisations willing to cover her story.

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