With a clear battle going on in Egypt between Muslim reactionaries, the military and the forces of liberalism, this strikes me as a major victory — if the military complies with it, which it may well not do. From Reuters:
An Egyptian civilian court ordered the army Tuesday to end forced virginity tests on female detainees in military prisons, and the woman who won the legal victory urged other victims to press charges against the army.
Activists said the verdict was a victory for civilian courts over generals who took charge when Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power by a popular revolt in February.
The ruling also adds pressure on the army to hold to account troops who have been rebuked by Egyptians and major aid donor the United States over the treatment of women during protests.
“I am very happy. This is the first round with the military council and we will win the next rounds, God willing,” Samira Ibrahim, who defied taboos in a conservative Muslim country to raise the case over the tests, told Reuters.
Ibrahim had said she and six other women were forced to undergo tests to see if they were virgins in March after they were arrested during a protest in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
Huge credit to Ibrahim for her courageous stand. It’s situations like this that so clearly show the absurdity of cultural relativism to me. This sort of thing is wrong, period. If you would object to it in your own country, you should object to it anywhere — even in countries where it’s traditional or in line with their barbaric religious views.
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