Thursday, December 29, 2011

Egypt: Virginity Testing Detained Women

(EOHR/IFEX) - 29 December 2011 - The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) welcomes the 27 December decision of the Administrative Court of the State Council to ban the practice of subjecting detained women to virginity tests.

During protests on 9 March, Samira Ibrahim and 17 other girls were arrested and subsequently subjected to virginity testing. They all filed a lawsuit to overturn the decision of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) allowing the practice on detainees.

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, the head of EOHR, emphasized that virginity testing on girls at military detention centers is a serious violation of personal privacy and does not comply with women's rights, either under Egyptian laws or international standards of human rights. The practice is considered an intimidation tactic that is used against Egyptian girls who participate in protests, although the right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed by all national and international standards of human rights. Both men and women achieved the Egyptian revolution together.

EOHR welcomes the decision of the Administrative Court of the State Council, viewing it as a victory for Egyptian women and part of the consolidation of their right to privacy. The SCAF should bring those who perpetrated the virginity testing to justice.

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