Released female activists narrate mistreatment by military

Ahram Online, Sunday 6 May 2012

Activists released Sunday after being detained at Friday's Abbasiya protest describe 'terrible' treatment by military police and infiltration by female military spies

Released women
Several of the women released on Sunday with activist and media figure Gamila Ismail (L) (Photo:Ahram)

Female activists arrested during clashes in Abbasiya Friday were released early Sunday on the orders of the Adel El-Morsi, the head of military prosecution. Dozens of supporters were waiting outside Qanater prison to welcome them upon their release.

El-Morsi announced Saturday that all women arrested during Friday's protest at the defence ministry in Abbasiya would be released. An estimated 300 to 400 men remain in military detention facing charges of infringing upon state institutions, using violence against members of the armed forces, halting traffic and loitering and trespassing in a military area.

The arrests came after tens of thousands of demonstrators clashed with soldiers Friday during an anti-military rule protest at the ministry of defence (MOD). The Friday protest was to condemn what activists claimed was a military-orchestrated attack against a sit-in in Cairo's Abbasiya district on Tuesday.

The military said it attacked the protest on Friday because protesters were trying to storm the MOD.

During the protest 15 women were arrested by military police while hiding in the Nour Mosque near the MOD. However, according to one of the female activists, Aya Kamal, who spoke after her release Sunday, seven of the arrested women were military spies - not genuine protesters.  

It became clear that the seven women were military spies when they were the only ones left unharmed after their arrest, explained Kamal. Further proof is that they tried to destroy the activists' self-esteem while in prison.

A female activist called Hagar, who was arrested at the Nour mosque, was shot in the arm by military police, according to Kamal.

The women's' treatment in prison was "terrible" and the released women should now work for the release of male detainees, who face even worse treatment from the military, asserted Kamal.

The support the women received upon their release was extremely important, said Kamal, because they had been refused contact with their families, most had no money and were released in the middle of the night.

Supporters greeted the women with chants of "Down with military rule."

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