Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Probe attacks on women, Egypt told

12 June 2012, 14:50

Cairo - Amnesty International called on Egyptian authorities on Monday to investigate reports of sexual assaults on women protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, to counter the impression that no one will be punished.

There has been a rise in violent attacks against women since demonstrators returned to the square 10 days ago to protest verdicts against toppled president Hosni Mubarak, his sons and security aides. Mubarak escaped a death sentence over deaths of protesters, and he and his sons were acquitted on corruption charges.

The protesters are concerned that the verdicts indicate the hold the repressive Mubarak regime continues to have on the country, and that the sexual assaults are at attempt to drive women, and eventually the rest of the protesters, from the downtown Cairo square.

A number of sexual assaults on women were reported during the week, including one incident in which the attackers attempted to strip a woman naked.

On Friday, in the face of these assaults, activists organised a rally to demand an end to the harassment - only to be attacked by a mob of men.

The men groped the women, tore off their clothes and robbed them, despite attempts by other men to fend them off. The frenzy lasted around an hour. Women were rushed to a shelter to hide them from the pursuing attackers.

Amnesty, a leading London-based rights group, said the attacks appeared designed to intimidate women and prevent them from fully participating in public life. It said Mubarak's regime used similar tactics of intimidation against women.

Presidential elections

"The authorities have so far done nothing to investigate these attacks," said Amnesty's Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui. She said the lack of investigation has encouraged the attackers. "The prevailing climate of impunity must stop to bring perpetrators to justice," she said.

Sexual harassment is not new to Egypt, but its increasing frequency and violence has shaken the protest movement.

Over the past year, Egypt's ruling military has worked to discredit protesters, charging that they receive foreign funding and are implementing plans of outsiders to drive the country into chaos, threatening national security.

Activists suspect the attacks on women are part of such an effort to chip away at the body of protesters and empty the square, particularly ahead of the polarising presidential elections scheduled later this week. The pattern of the attacks and their organized nature is the only evidence the protesters have so far to point that the assaults were planned.

Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, is facing a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Morsi, two choices that the protesters see as a recreation of the regime they rebelled against.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What To Do If She Has A Boyfriend

Here are tips to help you get a girl who has a boyfriend: Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo blasts DP Ruto for ‘grabb...

11 Kamba MPs declared their allegiance to Jubilee last month. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
President Uhuru Kenyatta pardons ...

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday released 7,000 petty offenders to create room in the prisons. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Why Mashujaa Day celebrations wer...

Find out why this year's Mashujaa Day celebrations were held in Machakos. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Foods that burn belly fat fast

You can take your best foods and snacks and still be able to get rid of that pot belly. Read more...