Egypt army court acquits doctor over virginity test


A military court acquitted an army doctor charged with carrying out a forced virginity test on a female detainee during protests last year, said a court source, in a case that has fuelled anger against the ruling generals.

Activist Samira Ibrahim, who defied taboos in the conservative Muslim country to raise her case, said she was forced to undergo a virginity test in March last year after she was arrested during a protest in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Ibrahim’s and similar cases stoked criticism of the generals who took control of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak was driven from office on February 11, 2011 by a popular uprising, Reuters reports.
“The army doctor Ahmed Adel was found not guilty in the case of virginity tests because of conflicting witness accounts,” said the military judicial source, who asked not to be named.

Egypt’s state news agency confirmed Sunday’s court ruling, adding that the accounts of three witnesses in the case conflicted with a fourth.

Ibrahim declined to comment to Reuters after the ruling.

Outside the court, around 30 protesters gathered, shouting: “Down down military rule” and “We demanded dignity and change. Instead they stripped our girls in Tahrir”.

Controversy over the virginity tests gathered pace after a general was quoted by CNN last year as saying tests were carried out to prove the women were not virgins when they were detained, so they could not say they were raped in detention.

An army official later denied the comments were made.

Ibrahim was sentenced to a one-year suspended prison term for insulting authorities, joining an illegal assembly and breaking a curfew.

A civilian court issued a ruling in December ordering the army to end the practice and a military judicial official then said cases of reported forced virginity tests had been transferred to the Supreme Military Court.