ONTD Political

Egyptian women protest in Cairo against brutal treatment

3:04 pm - 12/22/2011
Hundreds of women have taken to the streets of Cairo to protest against military rule and the brutal treatment of female protesters by Egypt's security services.

The women rallied outside a government office complex in Tahrir Square, the scene of violent clashes earlier on Tuesday in which at least four demonstrators were shot dead by military police.

Dozens of men joined the demonstration out of sympathy with the women. They acted as a protective cordon and chanted: "Egyptian women are a red line."

The protest came after soldiers made another violent attempt to evict demonstrators camped in the square, during the fifth day of bloody confrontation between the military and opponents of army rule.

It also followed condemnation of the treatment of female activists in Egypt by Hillary Clinton. The US secretary of state said she was appalled by the treatment being meted out to female protesters – particularly by a photo showing a young woman, stripped to her bra and jeans, being kicked and dragged along the ground by two police officers.

"This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonours the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform and is not worthy of a great people," Clinton said. She added: "Women are being beaten and humiliated in the same streets where they risked their lives for the revolution only a few short months ago."

Soldiers fired live rounds and used batons to disperse demonstrators . The four protesters killed during a dawn raid included a 19-year-old. All were shot. A 15-year-old protester, Ahmed Saad, was also said to be in a critical condition from a gunshot wound.

Doctors working in makeshift field hospitals said at least 13 people had been killed and hundreds wounded since the latest unrest in Tahrir began last Friday. Protesters demanding an immediate end to army rule have gathered in the square, and in nearby streets leading to parliament and the cabinet office. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has called the tactics used by the Egyptian authorities "excessive".

During Tuesday's demonstration, female activists handed out flyers depicting a hand – emerging from a military uniform – stretching out to grope a frowning woman. The writing over the flyer read: "Liars, stop the violence." Samea Saleh, a woman wearing the niqab (veil), said that the military was attempting to take away the Egyptian people's dignity.

Referring to the images of the young woman lying half-naked on the street – her cloak ripped in two – Saleh said such images showed nothing had improved under military rule.

"What they did to that woman was the ultimate insult. Why do they think we wear these clothes? To have them stripped off us on the street? I'm here as part of the revolution, which did not end in February," she said.

General Adel Emara, a prominent member of Egypt's ruling military council, promised to investigate the incident.

But speaking earlier in the day he struck an uncompromising tone. Emara denied giving orders to clear the square but said there were "evil forces" in Egypt hellbent on chaos and insurrection. "What is happening does not belong with the revolution and its pure youth, who never wanted to bring down this nation," he said, praising what he called the "self-restraint" shown by the security forces.

The latest ugly clashes have overshadowed Egypt's parliamentary election, which started on 28 November and continues until 11 January.


I think that it's so courageous that these women took to the streets after the world witnessed the brutal beating of the 'Blue Bra Girl', which is one of the most sickening and horrific videos I've ever seen on Youtube.
the_gabih 22nd-Dec-2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Live rounds? Jfc. I hope Ahmed makes it through this okay. :|
fishphile 22nd-Dec-2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
The media in the U.S. is pitiful. I've seen disasters that we have no part in being covered like we are involved somehow. A lot of "what does this mean for us?" because that's the only way people would care, right?
tabaqui 22nd-Dec-2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
The 'blue bra' video is one of the most horrific things i've seen in the news lately - the sheer brutality of the policemen *jumping* and stomping on that woman and two other protesters just made me sick to my stomach.

I'm so excited - would say 'proud', but that sounds condescending - to see Egyptian woman putting aside their fear and standing tall in the face of danger. *And* to see men of honor standing with them as equals and not telling them to go home or trying to keep them out of the fray.
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