Egyptian General Admits to ‘Virginity Checks’ on Protesters

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Photo: Joel Saget/Getty Imges

A senior Egyptian official admitted that female protesters in Tahrir Square were subjected to "virginity tests" during the January and February protests earlier this year, as a measure of punishment and warning. Women arrested during the protests were subject to beatings, electric shocks, strip searches, and forced to submit to the invasive "virginity searches" as a means, said one Egyptian general, of preventing female protesters from making fake rape claims. The anonymous official was typically objectively minded: "The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine," he said. "These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs) ... We didn't want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren't virgins in the first place," he continued. "None of them were (virgins)."

What does a "virginity test" look like? For Salwa Hosseini, a 20-year-old hairdresser, who experienced the treatment, it involved being shocked with a stun gun while being called a prostitute. "We did not agree for a male doctor to perform the test," she said. "I was going through a nervous breakdown at that moment," she recalled. "There was no one standing during the test, except for a woman and the male doctor. But several soldiers were standing behind us watching the backside of the bed. I think they had them standing there as witnesses."

Egyptian general admits 'virginity checks' conducted on protesters [CNN]