Sex Attacks 'Horrific,' Rampant in Egypt: HRW

91 confirmed victims in 4 days, group reports
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2013 9:55 AM CDT
Sex Attacks 'Horrific,' Rampant in Egypt: HRW
A veiled Egyptian woman wears a head band in Arabic that reads,"Egypt," during a protest in Tahrir Square.   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Sexual violence against women at protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square has reached "horrific levels," with confirmation that at least 91 women have been assaulted and, in some cases, raped since Friday, according to Human Rights Watch. A group set up to protect women at the protest says it recorded 46 attacks on Sunday alone, reports the AP. Many of the victims have required medical treatment, and some were "beaten with metal chains, sticks, and chairs, and attacked with knives," al-Jazeera reports. One woman required surgery after being raped with "fingers and a sharp object," according to HRW, which says some women were attacked by large groups for as long as 45 minutes before they were freed.

"Intervention teams" of 25 to 30 people have been working to rescue the women. Recounts one team leader, who says he witnessed 12 attacks on Sunday, "Sometimes there are hundreds of people surrounding the girls." Some say the attacks are part of a campaign to discredit the anti-government protests and deter women from joining the movement; others say that the attackers are just thugs taking advantage of the lack of security. HRW is calling on Egyptian leaders from "across the [political] spectrum" to condemn the attacks and "take immediate steps to address the horrific levels of sexual violence against women in Tahrir Square." (Read more sexual assault stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.