Sexual assault as justice for protest has been around forever, but when I heard this story I was reminded of Chana Kai Lee’s biography of Fannie Lou Hamer, For Freedom’s Sake.
After protesting for African American civil rights alongside other SNCC members, Hamer and others were taken into jail and brutally beaten and sexually assaulted by police and prison staff. Hamer’s beatings in jail left her with a limp, blind in her left eye, with her kidneys permanently damaged (listen to her speech before the Credentials Committee at the ’64 Democratic National Convention here).
Here, however, the tactic was presented as a “precautionary” measure rather than the demeaning and sexually objectifyng act it truly was.
From Shahira Amin at CNN > Read the whole story there.
Cairo (CNN) — A senior Egyptian general admits that “virginity checks” were performed on women arrested at a demonstration this spring, the first such admission after previous denials by military authorities.
The allegations arose in an Amnesty International report, published weeks after the March 9 protest. It claimed female demonstrators were beaten, given electric shocks, strip-searched, threatened with prostitution charges and forced to submit to virginity checks.
At that time, Maj. Amr Imam said 17 women had been arrested but denied allegations of torture or “virginity tests.”
But now a senior general who asked not to be identified said the virginity tests were conducted and defended the practice.
“The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine,” the general said. “These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs).”
The general said the virginity checks were done so that the women wouldn’t later claim they had been raped by Egyptian authorities.
“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,” the general said. “None of them were (virgins).”
Read about Salwa Hosseini’s experience undergoing stun-gun-enduced virginity-testing here.