Witnesses summoned to deliver testimony in Egypt’s ongoing “virginity tests” trial denied in a Tuesday court session that the incident ever took place.
Army physician Ahmed Adel currently faces charges of performing the controversial tests on a number of female activists last year. The lawsuit against Adel was initially filed by 25-year-old protester Samira Ibrahim.
Ibrahim was among seven female protesters who claimed to have been subject to “virginity tests” by military personnel after being arrested in March of last year following the dispersal of a Tahrir Square sit-in by security forces. Ibrahim caused a national outcry when she spoke publicly about the incident and later became the only one of the women to lodge a formal lawsuit against the military over the incident.
The case generated additional accusations that the army had employed unprecedented torture techniques to intimidate anti-government protesters.
Last December, Egypt’s Administrative Court issued a landmark ruling in Ibrahim’s favour, legally banning the practice of subjecting female detainees to virginity tests.
In Tuesday’s court session, female prison wardens Fawzeya Sobhi and Abeer Rashad, summoned by Ibrahim’s lawyer to deliver testimony, denied that the incident ever took place. The two claimed that the women in question had merely been asked if they were married or not.
The two wardens went on to testify that the female protesters had been asked if they were pregnant to ensure that they received proper care. The two witnesses also denied allegations that the detainees had been forced to take off their clothes, as has been claimed by Ibrahim.
The next court session in the case has been scheduled for 13 February.