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’Egyptian women protesters forced to take ‘virginity tests’

Thanks to Clarissa's Blog for this alert from amnesty international 23 March 2011
FEMINIST SHOULD  ASK FOR A FORMAL PROTEST  
To contact the Office of Global Women’s Issues, send an email to sgwipublic@state.gov.
Sample letter below this article by Amnesty International.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Women were often at the forefront of the recent demonstrations in Egypt

Amnesty International has today called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month.

After army officers violently cleared the square of protesters on 9 March, at least 18 women were held in military detention. Amnesty International has been told by women protesters that they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges.

‘Virginity tests’ are a form of torture when they are forced or coerced.

"Forcing women to have ‘virginity tests’ is utterly unacceptable. Its purpose is to degrade women because they are women," said Amnesty International. "All members of the medical profession must refuse to take part in such so-called 'tests'."

20-year-old Salwa Hosseini told Amnesty International that after she was arrested and taken to a military prison in Heikstep, she was made, with the other women, to take off all her clothes to be searched by a female prison guard, in a room with two open doors and a window. During the strip search, Salwa Hosseini said male soldiers were looking into the room and taking pictures of the naked women.

The women were then subjected to ‘virginity tests’ in a different room by a man in a white coat. They were threatened that “those not found to be virgins” would be charged with prostitution.

According to information received by Amnesty International, one woman who said she was a virgin but whose test supposedly proved otherwise was beaten and given electric shocks.

“Women and girls must be able to express their views on the future of Egypt and protest against the government without being detained, tortured, or subjected to profoundly degrading and discriminatory treatment,” said Amnesty International.

“The army officers tried to further humiliate the women by allowing men to watch and photograph what was happening, with the implicit threat that the women could be at further risk of harm if the photographs were made public.”

Journalist Rasha Azeb was also detained in Tahrir Square and told Amnesty International that she was handcuffed, beaten and insulted.

Following their arrest, the 18 women were initially taken to a Cairo Museum annex where they were reportedly handcuffed, beaten with sticks and hoses, given electric shocks in the chest and legs, and called “prostitutes”.

Rasha Azeb could see and hear the other detained women being tortured by being given electric shocks throughout their detention at the museum. She was released several hours later with four other men who were also journalists, but 17 other women were transferred to the military prison in Heikstep

Testimonies of other women detained at the same time collected by the El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence are consistent with Rasha Azeb and Salwa Hosseini’s accounts of beatings, electrocution and ‘virginity tests’.

“The Egyptian authorities must halt the shocking and degrading treatment of women protesters. Women fully participated in bringing change in Egypt and should not be punished for their activism,” said Amnesty International.

“All security and army forces must be clearly instructed that torture and other ill-treatment, including forced ‘virginity tests’, will no longer be tolerated, and will be fully investigated. Those found responsible for such acts must be brought to justice and the courageous women who denounced such abuses be protected from reprisals.”

All 17 women detained in the military prison were brought before a military court on 11 March and released on 13 March. Several received one-year suspended prison sentences.

Salwa Hosseini was convicted of disorderly conduct, destroying private and public property, obstructing traffic and carrying weapons.

Amnesty International opposes the trial of civilians before military courts in Egypt, which have a track record of unfair trials and where the right to appeal is severely restricted."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To contact the Office of Global Women’s Issues, send an email to sgwipublic@state.gov.


TO: Hillary Clinton
REQUEST FOR A FORMAL PROTEST OF VIRGINITY TESTS IN EGYPT

This letter is written to request the US Dept of State formally protest the forced virginity tests of women in Egypt.

Amnesty International has today called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month. Arrested female demonstrators were tortured with shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges.
‘Virginity tests’ are a form of torture when they are forced or coerced. It is important that the US act now while the new government is forming in Egypt to insure that women's rights are elevated, especially in all aspects of the legal system.

The State Dept. should ask that soldiers and police receive human rights training emphasizing women's rights.  The US State Dept should fund said training and make receipt of foreign aid dependent on human rights training and performance.   State should also make foreign aid contingent on the formation of all women army units inside the Egyptian army and also in all Egyptian police departments. These female units should be trained and armed. They should have jurisdiction over all females immediately, at the scene of a woman's arrest and throughout women's custody within the Egyptian legal system. Female officers should act as protectors, counselors, and guardians, especially in domestic disputes.

Volunteer US female army trainers and military police are available to facilitate the implementation of this project. The Institute for Inclusive Security is also available.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE INFO BELOW MAY BE OUTDATED BUT IT IS  A START - WRITE A ONE PARAGRAPH LETTER OF PROTEST AND SEND IT BY EMAIL.   YOU WILL HAVE TO CHECK THESE ADDRESSES ON GOOGLE OR BY CALLING BECAUSE SOME OF THE WEBSITES ARE JUST COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISES WITH NO CONNECTION TO RELEVANT SOURCES,  BUT MAKE THE EFFORT TO PROTEST,  WRITE A SHORT PROTEST LETTER AND SEND IT TO A SOURCE YOU HAVE VERIFIED.  MAYBE SEND A COPY TO AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

EMBASSY OF THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT
CHANCERY
3521 International Ct. Nw Washington DC 20008
TEL: 202.895.5400
FAX: 202.244.4319
202.244.5131
Email:   Embassy@egyptembassy.net

CONSULAR SECTION
TEL: 202.966.6342
FAX: 202.244.4319
Email: Consulate@egyptembassy.net

MEDICAL OFFICE
TEL:202.296.5286
FAX: 202.296.5288

AGRICULTURAL OFFICE
TEL: 202.966.2080
FAX: 202.895.5493

DEFENSE OFFICE
2590 L. St. Washington DC 20037
TEL: 202.333.1283
FAX: 202.333.7240

PROCUREMENT OFFICE
5500 16th St. Nw Washington DC 20011
TEL: 202.726.8006
FAX: 202.829.4909 202.829.5530

CULTURAL & EDUCATIONAL OFFICE
1303 New Hampshire Ave., Nw Washington DC 20036
EMAIL:  ECEB@ECEB.US
TEL: 202.296.3888
FAX: 202.296.3891

PRESS & INFORMATION OFFICE
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TEL: 202.667.3402
FAX: 202.234.6827

ECONOMIC & COMMERCIAL OFFICE
2232 Massachusetts Ave. Nw Washington DC 20008
TEL: 202.265.9111
FAX: 202.328.4517

OTHER EGYPTIAN MISSIONS IN THE UNITED STATES

EGYPTIAN MISSION TO THE UN
304 East 44th St. New York, NY 10017
TEL: 212.503.0300
FAX: 212.949.5999

CONSULATE GENERAL OF A.R.E. IN NEW YORK
1110 Second Ave. – Suite 201 New York, NY 10022
EMAIL: EGYPTEG@AOL.COM
TEL: 212.759.7120
FAX: 212.308.7643

PRESS OFFICE IN NEW YORK
TEL: 212.503.0342

ECONOMIC & COMMERCIAL OFFICE IN NEW YORK
10 Rockefeller Plaza Suite 2305 New York, NY 10111
EMAIL: INFO@EGYPTTOURISM.ORG
WEBSITE: http://www.egyttourism.org/
TEL: 212.332.2570 FAX: 212.956.6439

CONSULATE GENERAL OF A.R.E IN CHICAGO
500 N. Michigan Ave. – Suite 1900 Chicago, IL 60611
WEBSITE : http://www.eg2002.net/
TEL : 312.828.9162
FAX: 312.828.9167

CONSULATE GENERAL OF A.R.E. IN SAN FRANCISCO
3001 Pacific Ave. San Francisco, CA 94115
EMAIL: EGYPT@EGY2000.COM
WEBSITE: http://www.egy2000.com/
TEL: 415.346.9700- 415.346.9702
FAX: 415.346.7352 - 415.346.9480

COMMERCIAL OFFICE IN SAN FRANCISCO
1255 Post Street – Suite 910 San Francisco, CA 94109
TEL: 415.771.1995
FAX: 415.771.1293

PRESS & INFORMATION OFFICE IN SAN FRANCISCO
1255 Post Street – Suite 1034 San Francisco, CA 94109
TEL: 415.346.3427
FAX: 415.346.3420

HOUSTON CONSULATE OFFICE
1990 Post Oak Blvd. – Suite 2180 Houston, TX 77056
TEL: 713.961.4915
FAX: 713.961.3868



4 Comments:

Blogger JaneDoeThreads said...

and WE are surprised WHY? Hate to say I told you so...

expect FAR worse to come, as these nations are ousting 'not AS militant political Islamist' for HARD CORE LINER SHARIA LAW BUTCHERS who are Intent, on spreading these systems around the world,

Iran has just said in recent statement, their 'messiah' is coming, regardless of what spiritual belief's one has, any who Don't see the real threat in this, are either drinking far too much radioactive water OR they are simply

deluded.

and what I've seen thus far, the Most concerning, is the people who are So anti-Israel, far left, who are saying they welcome world wide Islam, that is men in New Zealand, Austria, UK, even America,

gee I wonder, Couldn't have anything to do with pedophilia being legal, rape being legalized, misogyny being Completely sanctioned and legal. The more we ignore the dangers, the worse it gets--and it's THIS KIND OF NEWS that is NOT being put out there in our media,

Why?

4:38 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger Greenconsciousness said...

Hi Jane Honey,

I have faith IF the US actively gets in there and influences the development of secular democracy by making aid dependent on it.

2:57 PM, March 30, 2011  
Blogger Greenconsciousness said...

I agree Iran is going to kill us all - soon.

2:59 PM, March 30, 2011  
Blogger Greenconsciousness said...

I think these dick tators were the ones who used religious extremism to divert the people from their corruption and exploitation. I think the revolution is a fresh start.

3:07 PM, March 30, 2011  

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