An Egyptian administrative court has issued a ban on virginity tests on female detainees after women arrested in March’s Tahrir Square protests alleged they were subjected to such tests while soldiers looked on. CNN reports that Samira Ibrahim, 25, received death threats after bringing the case to court.
“The military tortured me, labeled me a prostitute and humiliated me, by forcing on me, a virginity test conducted by a male doctor, where my body was fully exposed while military soldiers watched,” she said. After the ruling she told CNN “Justice has been served today,” and “These tests are a crime and also do not comply with the constitution, which states equality between men and woman. I will not give up my rights as a woman or a human being.”
The military initially denied the tests were taking place, but in May, a senior general, who wished to remain anonymous, admitted that such tests had occurred and even defended them saying they were a safeguard against women claiming sexual assault. A CNN video accompanying the story says the general told journalist Shahira Amin that these were “not decent girls because they had camped out with male protestors.”
Aly Hassan, a judicial consultant affiliated with the Ministry of Justice, says the tests themselves were not a crime and “the order only affects the use of such tests in military prisons and on women in temporary detention.”