Military prosecution: court order to suspend army's virginity tests inapplicable

Ahram Online, Tuesday 27 Dec 2011

The head of the Military Judiciary denies virginity tests are legal under military prison code; says responsible doctor is facing military prosecution


Head of Egypt’s military judiciary Adel El-Morsy stated on Tuesday that the administrative court’s order issued earlier in the day to suspend the practice of subjecting female detainees to undergo virginity tests is not applicable simply because such a practice was never part of the military’s prison code.

El-Morsy said that if such a practice was in fact ever used then it was only done as an individual act.

He added that the person responsible for subjecting women to “virginity tests” will have to face criminal accountability, and that the accused military doctor, whose name was not provided, is currently being tried in front of the Supreme Military Court. The doctor’s case has been adjourned to 3 January, according to El-Morsy. 

After military forces forcibly dispersed a sit-in at Tahrir Square on 9 March, a number of protesters were arrested and the female detainees were also subjected to virginity tests.

The case sparked a controversy, with virginity tests described as humiliating and a stark violation of human rights by human rights organisations in Egypt and abroad. In response, a military official claimed that subjecting women prisoners to such a practice was a regular procedure as part of the military prison code.  

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