A court in Egypt acquitted an army doctor accused of forcibly administering virginity tests on female detainees, according to a CNN article.
The acquittal resulted from contradictory expert witness testimony, on the government-run website EgyNews reported.
The allegations surfaced last year after several women alleged that they were required to have the examinations performed upon them following a protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square in March 2011
One of the women, Samira Ibrahim, 25, took action against Egypt's military-led government by bringing them into court last August, claiming that she was among those subjected to the test.
Ibrahim said she faced death threats after coming forward.
According to reports Sunday, she that the court's decision devastated her.
"This is rape, and I fainted when I heard the verdict in court," said Ibrahim. "God knows the truth, and it will always be a black spot in Egypt's history."
As a result of the acquittal, Adel Ramadan, 1 of Ibrahim's attorney's, said he that he planned to seek refuge in the International Criminal Court.
"Internal judiciary options have let us down, and we don't think there is judicial independence," he said. "The Supreme Council ruling the country has been denying everything from torture, killing protesters, and now this atrocious crime of forced virginity tests of young innocent females. We will not accept this verdict."
The judge said he was not pressured to make his ruling, according to EgyNews.
However, Ibrahim accused the court of bias. "He should have been tried in a civilian court, not in a military court, where they protect their own. The judge said that there were contradictions and he was not pressured at all. I highly doubt that," she said.
Presidential candidate Abdullah Shalaan said the ruling showed the military government's flaws.
"They will never indict one of their own. In all the cases of killing protesters, no real investigations were done, just fact-finding committees that submit their findings," said Shalaan. "No real justice has been served, and this is another example. I congratulate this brave woman for standing against them regardless of the final verdict."
An Egyptian administrative court banned virginity tests performed upon female detainees in December.
Although Egyptian authorities initially denied requiring virginity tests, in May a senior general who requested not to be identified acknowledged that the tests were performed.
Yet he defended the tests, stating that they were performed as a security measure against women who accused authorities of sexual assault.
"The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine," said the general. "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)."
However, Ibrahim said her treatment clearly showed the tests were meant to "degrade the protesters."
"The military tortured me, labeled me a prostitute and humiliated me by forcing on me a virginity test conducted by a male doctor where my body was fully exposed while military soldiers watched," she said.
I agree with Ibrahim and her attorney that the home field advantage here enjoyed by the military doctor was probably instrumental in the judges acquittal.
This woman, no matter who she is, has a right to be free from an unwarranted invasion of her own body and a right to a fair trial free from bias.
I hope that Ibrahim is successful in her attempts to seek review from an alternative judicial forum so that she may receive a fair trial and, additionally, that this judges ruling does not prevent other brave women similarly situated from bringing forth future actions.
What do you think?
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