MOI denies rape allegations published in The Observer
Abdel Fatah Osman - YOUM7/Salah Saied

CAIRO: Minister of Interior assistant for media affairs Abdel Fatah Osman said that what the British newspaper The Observer reported Saturday about the use of rape in Egypt “as a weapon” against dissident groups is “groundless allegations and rumors,” Youm7 reported Sunday.

Osman told Youm7 that the newspaper’s report about political opposition members being raped by police in two separate assaults “was not proven.” He said the cases were referred to investigation, which proved neither suspect had been exposed to such assault.

Such allegations made by Omar al-Shouekh and Fady Samir were meant to defame the image of police officers, he said.

The British newspaper reported that Egyptian police sexually assaulted the two political activists during their detention, in separate assaults. The newspaper also reported that lawyers and activists believe the tactic indicates a wider strategy of brutality against opposition.

It is not the first such allegation. Most recently, activists Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Ahmed Doma were beaten by the police for 30 minutes, said Doma’s wife, Nourhan Hefzy, on March 10 in a post on her Facebook page.

The activists called upon their defense team “to not plead and to withdraw,” from the court case in protest of their treatment.

The April 6 Youth Movement released a statement March 10 condemning the assault on the three activists, and blamed the police.

Additional reporting by Ibrahim Ahmed.

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