Forensic Medicine issues report on Tahrir Square sexual assaults
tahrir's Harassers - YOUM7(Archive)

CAIRO: The hymen of one of the women allegedly sexually assaulted by mobs in Tahrir Square last Sunday was broken during the incident, according to a State Forensic Medicine report issued Thursday, Youm7 reported.

Seven women were allegedly sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square during celebrations of the inauguration of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. The prosecution referred the alleged victims to State Forensic Medicine for examinations.

According to the Egyptian penal code, a sexual assault is only considered rape if non-consensual sex takes place and the assailant penetrates the victim’s vagina with a penis. Penetration with other objects or body parts is not considered rape and is instead considered “indecent assault”, a charge that carries less severe penalties. The Egyptian definition of rape contradicts most international definitions, which typically define all non-consensual sexual penetration as rape.

The forensics report did not indicate whether the woman’s hymen was broken with a penis. However, State Forensic Medicine spokesman Hesham Abdel-Hamid said in a phone call to Mehwar channel Wednesday that what happened in Tahrir Square was “indecent assault” and not rape.

The six people accused in the assault have been remanded in prison for 15 days pending further investigations. They were already being held in custody since the night of the incident. A juvenile was also accused of sexual harassment in the case and was referred to a juvenile detention center, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

Meanwhile, cabinet officials have continued to speak out against the Tahrir Square assaults.

Outgoing Minister of Religious Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa said that battling harassment is a religious duty, CBC channel reported, and Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab is scheduled to hold a meeting Thursday evening to discuss the harassment problem.

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