Egypt Court Outlaws Military's Virginity Tests

Female protesters complained of being detained, assaulted
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2011 11:52 AM CST
Egyptian women chant slogans during a protest in Cairo, Wednesday, Dec. 21.   (AP Photo/Hossam Ali)

(Newser) – A court in Egypt has brought an end to a military tactic used to humiliate women arrested during protests: Virginity tests are no longer allowed, report CNN and al-Jazeera. A 25-year-old woman sued after she got arrested in March and had to undergo the procedure in front of a room full of leering soldiers. An army general defended the tests at the time with this logic: "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."

A judge in Cairo sided with the woman, who said she had been "destroyed physically, mentally, and emotionally" by the procedure: "The court orders that the execution of the procedure of virginity tests on girls inside military prisons be stopped." One soldier faces a court-martial next month over the tests, with the military trying to pin the blame on rogue soldiers. The verdict comes as Egyptian women have taken a more active role in protests of late. (Read more Egypt stories.)

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