What happened a year ago outside the Cabinet Offices?
On 16 December, it will be a year since soldiers tried to forcibly disperse a three-week-old peaceful sit-in outside the Cabinet Office in central Cairo. Five days of clashes followed, during which 17 protesters were killed and nearly 1,000 injured. Each day this week we bring you the story of one of the victims and a recommendation to the authorities.
Case #4 – sexual and gender-based violence
On the first day of the clashes, Dr Ghada Kamal, a 28-year-old pharmacist, had an argument with army officers in Tahrir Square, who were threatening women protesters with sexual assault, making lewd gestures and unzipping their trousers. Moments later, soldiers dragged Dr Ghada Kamal into the Parliament building, and beat her on her head and body with something resembling a black whip. They repeatedly threatened her with rape.
Kamal: “They were sexually harassing me with their hands and they deliberately hit women in their private parts. I was beaten on my breasts and in my private parts both in the front and the back… the officer kept insinuating that I would be sexually targeted that evening – ‘you are mine; we will have a party over you tonight’.”
Dr Ghada Kamal sustained injuries to her face, head and back, and suffered a dislocated shoulder. She was freed a few hours after her assault. Kamal testified about her sexual harassment in custody on Egyptian television and presented her testimony to the investigative judge.
Amnesty International’s recommendation #4
In order to deal with this legacy of human rights abuses, the Egyptian authorities should, among other things.
- Investigate all allegations of torture or other ill-treatment, including sexual and gender-based violence, whether by the military forces or the Ministry of Interior, in line with the Principles on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, even when no official complaint has been made; bring all those responsible to justice; and provide full reparation to victims.
Amnesty International is a global movement of more than three million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights.
Read Amnesty’s report on abuses committed by Egypt’s military.
Read case #1 of Daily News Egypt’s Cabinet Office case files.
Read case #2 of Daily News Egypt’s Cabinet Office case files.
Read case #3 Daily News Egypt’s Cabinet Office case files.