CAIRO — The Egyptian authorities has denied a report by The New York Occasions that girls who encounter the nation’s justice system danger sexual abuse throughout searches by state authorities.

The Occasions discovered a dozen girls who stated they had been sexually violated by officers in police stations, prisons and hospitals. Specialists stated that anecdotal proof recommended that such incidents happen ceaselessly.

In a press release posted on Facebook and Twitter on Friday, the federal government “denied the validity” of the accusations by the ladies, saying they had been a part of an effort “to unfold rumors and lies.”

The temporary assertion by the Ministry of Inside, which oversees the police and prisons, additionally stated that accusations of “systemic bodily violations” in opposition to feminine detainees had been false.

The assertion didn’t establish the safety supply, point out whether or not the ladies’s claims had been investigated, or provide an evidence for the denial of a systemic drawback.

The federal government didn’t reply to a request for extra details about the assertion.

The ladies interviewed for the Occasions article stand by their tales, that are per years of complaints of sexual abuse of girls by the police and different justice officers. Human rights teams have documented related circumstances.

A police officer quoted within the article stated that sexual abuse of girls by authorized authorities was “in all places,” and that the purpose was to not collect proof however to “humiliate your humanity.”

After the navy strip-searched no less than 18 girls at a protest in 2011 and subjected them to so-called virginity assessments, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was then the pinnacle of navy intelligence, promised to “change the tradition of the safety forces” and “shield detainees in opposition to unwell therapy.”

The Occasions article confirmed {that a} decade later, these adjustments haven’t been made.

For the reason that article was revealed final week, Egyptian human rights teams have praised the ladies on the middle of the story for coming ahead.

One human rights lawyer, Negad el-Borai, publicly known as on the nation’s high prosecutor to open an investigation and requested Parliament to introduce laws to “assure that what was reported wouldn’t be repeated.”

Web sites affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned political group that has been designated a terrorist group by Egypt, seized on the testimonies. One web site, Rassd, copied and repackaged elements of the interviews right into a video, sprinkling in further images of girls who seemed to be getting arrested or crushed by Egyptian safety forces.

The video has had greater than 700,000 views and was shared by an Egyptian dissident whose criticism of Mr. el-Sisi impressed a uncommon wave of antigovernment protests lower than two years in the past.

A lot of the girls interviewed for the article requested anonymity however 4 spoke on the file. Two had been outspoken critics of the federal government.

Asmaa Abdel Hamid, who was arrested in 2018 after protesting a rise in subway fares, stated she was subjected to invasive searches thrice, together with being pressured to undress in entrance of a bunch of officers, subjected to a so-called virginity take a look at, and penetrated anally by a jail guard utilizing her finger wrapped in a plastic bag.

Malak Elkashif, a transgender lady, was arrested in 2019 after protesting authorities negligence following a lethal prepare crash. She stated that she was ordered to undress in entrance of an officer and was subjected to an invasive anal examination in a supposed effort to find out her intercourse.

Each girls have expressed concern that the federal government’s assertion could possibly be a prelude to retaliation.

Days after he posted his demand for an investigation, Mr. El Borai, a former member of the Nationwide Council for Human Rights, eliminated the put up, citing fears by the ladies featured within the article that an uproar would result in their arrest.

For a lot of, it was the primary time they’d spoken publicly about their experiences. Ms. Abdel Hamid and Ms. Elkashif took the extra step of exposing their identities, and appeared on digicam to inform their tales.

“As a strategy to overcome and doc these experiences, I made a decision to inform my story to you now,” Ms. Abdel Hamid stated within the interview. “I really want to inform it.”

Source