Egyptian female students are tortured, sexually harassed and subjected to virginity tests by security forces.GMT. 2014-02-10
AOHR UK | 2014-02-10
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in UK (AOHR UK) received complaints from the families of 12 female students (see table below) arrested between the 28th and 30th of December 2013 allegedly for disrupting exams at Al-Azhar University. Families reported that the girls were assaulted, tortured, sexually harassed and had their Islamic head covers removed by security and police officers following their arrest. The girls were also subjected to virginity tests several times at Nasr police station in addition to being tortured there before being transferred to Al-Salam Security Centre where they were also verbally abused, assaulted and tortured. Following their transfer to Al-Qanatir prison, the girls were subjected to further humiliation and abuse and held in the same cells with convicted criminals which is in breach of the law that forbids holding those awaiting trial with convicted criminals. The girls were not allowed to wear warm clothes despite the cold weather and were assaulted by other criminals at the behest of security officers. They were allowed only half an hour out in the sun every day. The only girl who was not taken to Al-Qanatir prison was Hajar Ashraf who is underage and was thus kept at Nasr police station.
AOHR UK, having reviewed the details of the cases, witness testimonies and spoken with one of the detainee’s lawyer, declares that:
- All the detainees in this case have been arbitrarily arrested without probable cause in a manner that contravenes local and international legal and human rights laws.
- Officers at Nasr police station, Al-Qanatir prison, Al-Salam Security Centre whose names appear on this case are fully responsible for the assault, torture and abuse the detainees were subjected to. Systematic torture at Egyptian police stations and prisons has reached epidemic levels it only stands to reason that Egyptian authorities are aware of its existence which, according to the Convention Against Torture, makes them all complicit in these violent acts.
- The total collapse of any human right considerations in Egypt necessitates international intervention to put an end of the suffering of Egyptian detainees.