Acquittal of Army Doctor Over "Virginity Tests" Triggers Protest in Egypt

by Kathy Jones on Mar 19 2012 9:46 PM

 Acquittal of Army Doctor Over `Virginity Tests` Triggers Protest in Egypt
Pro-democracy activists in Egypt have fiercely protested an acquittal verdict against an army doctor on a charge of public obscenity.
A military tribunal cleared the doctor on Sunday, citing contradictions between witnesses' testimonies.

Shouting anti-military Supreme Council slogans during a demonstration in Tahrir Square,on Friday, they said the accused army doctor should be punished for forcing seven women to undergo a virginity test while under detention.

According to CBS News, the issue of the virginity tests has become a rallying cry by pro-democracy youth activists, who say it is an example of how the revolution they helped bring about has been hijacked by the military generals who took power after the mass uprising last year forced longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak to step down.

The generals have been harshly criticized for rights violations and practices, such as the "virginity tests," that resemble those of security forces under Mubarak.

Protesters carried pictures of Samira Ibrahim, the young female activist who went public about the virginity test.

Ibrahim had filed a lawsuit against a military doctor accusing him of subjecting her to a "virginity test" last year after the army detained her during a protest.

The virginity test allegations first surfaced after a March 9 rally in Cairo last year that turned violent when men in plainclothes attacked protesters, and the army cleared the square by force.

Human Rights Watch said seven women were subjected to the tests.

Ibrahim has said she intends to bring a lawsuit against the military in an international court, as she only has a slim chance of winning an appeal.