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Egypt military doctor acquitted on charge related to alleged forced virginity tests

An Egyptian army doctor was acquitted of obscenity by a military tribunal Sunday in relation to alleged forced virginity tests performed on detained protestors during the revolution last spring. The court refused to find that the forced virginity tests occurred [AP report] despite a prior court ruling and allegations from Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] quoting military generals. Military prosecutors brought the charges against Dr. Ahmed Adel after an administrative court issued a ruling last December banning the tests [JURIST report], which it found were performed on detained protestors. The allegations sparked uproar from many of the protestors who claim the tests show that the military regime still follows the oppressive practices of ousted President Hosni Mubarak [JURIST news archive]. Samira Ibrahim, one of the women claiming to have been submitted to the test, expressed displeasure with Sunday's ruling today on her Twitter page [Twitter, in Arabic]. Military authorities initially denied the tests occurred but an anonymous senior military official later admitted they were performed [CNN report] to protect the military from accusations of sexual assault from the detained protestors. The military is scheduled to hand over power to civilian authorities by July 1, 2012.

Last week, an Egyptian police officer was also acquitted by a criminal court [JURIST report] over allegations that he killed 20 protestors. The police officer's defense lawyers claimed he had no intent to kill protestors and was only attempting to protect himself and the police station. Last December, the Cairo Administrative Court ordered the Egyptian Army to end its practice of performing forced virginity tests on female detainees. Samira Ibrahim brought the case against the Egyptian Army after she was arrested during a protest and was forced to submit to a virginity test [Al Jazeera report]. Judge Aly Fekry, head of the Court, delivered the order to stop the procedure of virginity tests on woman inside military prisons. The forced virginity tests have been condemned by human rights organizations including AI, which called upon the Egyptian government [AI report] to investigate the practice after other women protesters had come forward with allegations about forced virginity tests. AI has also accused Egyptian officials of violating human rights [JURIST report] including abuse of protesters and journalists who voiced their dissatisfaction with the government. All of these acts stem from a protest [JURIST report] that took place in November in which over 50,000 people gathered to decry the military's contented rule over the nation.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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