CAIRO, December 21, 2011 ― Social media captured the brutal beating of a woman taking part in protests in Cairo on December 18, 2011. As over 10,000 women marched to Tahrir Square to protest the violence and brutality of the Egyptian military against women, police weilding batons began attacking the demonstrators, with one woman being stripped and beaten (see video).
The clashes between protesters and the armed forces erupted last Friday, December 17, in downtown Cairo, following the second stage of elections. The clashes continued for five consecutive days, with both sides throwing rocks, glass and Molotov cocktails at each other. One casualty of the clashes was the historic Scientific Complex, home to thousands of priceless manuscripts, which was burned to the ground.
According to official records from the Ministry of Health, 14 people were killed and more than 500 injured.
The military detained 157 people, blaming the violence on a “methodical plot” to ruin Egypt. They suggested that unknown groups are backing the violence, hiring thugs and street children to burn down vital buildings in Cairo.
Since November 25, groups have been staging a sit-in to protest continued military rule and the military appointment of K. Ganzouri as prime minister. The demonstrators are demanding that the military hold elections immediately and hand authority over to a civil elected government.
As the clashes between the army and protesters continued this week, the anger escalated. It reached its peak when newspapers published a picture of a young woman who was captured today. The woman is seen being brutally beaten by military forces (video below). The unconscious young woman is seen lying on her back, surrounded by baton-wielding soldiers with her torso and bra exposed.
The images show the woman stripped of her black abaya, a wide loose robe usually worn by veiled women, leaving her half naked as they drag her in the street. This brutally treated woman was not only beaten, but also humiliated by the soldiers who stripped her, possibly to insinuate that women who take part in street protests want to be groped.
Today, protestors, many holding pictures of the beaten woman, chanted, “Tantawi stripped your women naked, come join us.” They referred to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the military council that has ruled Egypt since the Feb. 11 fall of Hosni Mubarak. “The daughters of Egypt are a red line,” they chanted.
Navi Pillay, the UN High commissioner for human rights condemned the brutal assaults against women, saying, “The ruthless violence being used against unarmed women protesters is shocking and cannot be left unpunished.” She added that all individuals involved in the assault must be tried.
Activists filed complaints with the Egyptian prosecutor’s office against government officials. Noor Noor, the son of Ayman Nour, the presidential candidate, says, ”There are protesters and activists dying every day…”
Women activists in Egypt condemned the assault not only against them but against men as well. One female activist stated they are determined that the weapon of shame does not threaten them as they are struggling for their rights.
The following video (dated December 18, 2011), created by LeakSource.wordpress.com is graphic and violent. Viewer descretion is advised.
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