Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Report alleges wide-spread use of sexual violence

Editor’s Note: The following story relates to our 20 May 2015 edition; we’re posting it here only because its inclusion in the morning email newsletter would result in spam filters banning us from our readers’ inboxes:

The lead story on Egypt this morning is news of a report issued by Paris-headquartered human rights NGO FIDH on Tuesday titled Exposing state hypocrisy: Sexual violence by security forces in Egypt, which alleges a widespread increase in sexual violence used by Egypt’s security forces since Morsi’s removal in July 2013. Further, the report goes on to state that the surge in sexual violence is both the result of the increased physical presence of the police and army following Morsi’s removal, as well as part of a strategy to discredit critics and enemies of the regime, citing the use of such tactics back to the Mubarak regime and most infamously, ‘Black Wednesday’ in 2005, when four women demonstrators were assaulted in full view of senior members of the MOI who did nothing to intervene.

In its coverage, Reuters noted: “It was not possible to confirm the allegations. Spokesmen for Egypt’s Interior Ministry and military were not available for comment despite several attempts to reach them.”

The report is receiving significant coverage, and in addition to Reuters has so far been picked up by BBC News, VOA, The Guardian, The Independent, the AFP, VICE, IB Times, Al Jazeera and Middle East Eye.

The most damning of the headlines thus far goes to the UK’s Telegraph with: “‘Anyone who hasn’t been raped is the exception’: Egyptian officials accused of ‘systematic’ sexual violence.

See also the Daily Mail: “Men, women and children rounded up and gang raped by Egyptian security forces on a massive scale ‘to eliminate public protest’, warns human rights group.”

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