American woman accuses Egypt police of sexual assault

An Egyptian protester is carried away during clashes with riot police along a road which leads to the Interior Ministry, near Tahrir Square, in Cairo on November 23, 2011. Several thousand Egyptians rallied in Tahrir Square demanding an end to military rule, despite a promise by the country's interim leader to transfer power to an elected president by mid-2012.



A prominent Egyptian-American news commentator and activist described her detention by police following the clashes near Tahrir Square this week, saying she was beaten and sexually assaulted by security forces.

Mona Eltahawy, a New York-based columnist and public speaker, alerted her followers on Twitter Thursday that she had been arrested by Egyptian police.

"Beaten arrested in interior ministry,” tweeted Eltahawy, in the early hours on Thursday. 

Later in the day on Thursday, Eltahawy wrote on Twitter that she was released. What followed was a series of more than a dozen tweets describing what she claimed happened following her arrest. 

Eltahawy wrote that Egypt’s Central Security Forces, who constitute the bulk of the nation’s riot police, subjected her to the “worst sexual assault ever.” 

On Thursday afternoon, Eltahawy tweeted:

5 or 6 surrounded me, groped and prodded my breasts, grabbed my genital area and I lost count how many hands tried to get into my trousers.

Eltahawy also said she was beaten on her hand to the point that she could not close it later on Thursday.

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Here is a picture Eltahawy posted of the back of her hand, which was severely bloated.  Her knuckles were bruised and red.

She posted a less-than-subtle reaction on Twitter:

They are dogs and their bosses are dogs. Fuck the Egyptian police.

GlobalPost could not immediately confirm Eltahawy’s alleged assault, but witnessed dozens of violent attacks on protesters following their arrests over the past week.

This is from our last report:

Arrested protesters were beaten mercilessly this weekend by police wielding blunt wooden batons, in plain view of the advancing crowds. Dozens of officers swarmed around detainees, attacking with punches to the head and kicks to the groin.

In a statement on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch condemned Egypt’s military rulers for allowing police to use “excessive force” against protesters during this week’s clashes.

“The use of force by the riot police and military police is reminiscent of the January violence for which Hosni Mubarak and his security chiefs are currently on trial,” wrote Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East director.

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