The undersigned organizations today stated that the acquittal of the military doctor accused in the 'virginity testing' case did not come as a surprise, and furthermore opens the door to the prosecution of members of the military council using international mechanisms, after remedies inside Egypt have been exhausted. They added that the military court validated the military council's official narrative that virginity testing simply did not happen – a narrative difficult to believe in light of compelling evidence which could not be explained away before an independent court.
The undersigned organizations said: 'This ruling was expected. The military council has got used to denying its involvement in the numerous crimes it has committed – or even, as in this case, that they happened at all. What happened in court on Sunday is the latest in the series of well-documented violations by the military council since they took power in Egypt.'
Last January, the Supreme Military Tribunal began hearings in the trial of Ahmed Adel Mohamed el-Mogy, a 27-year-old military doctor, for carrying out 'virginity testing' procedures on Samira Ibrahim and a number of female demonstrators arrested in Tahrir Square in March 2011. The military prosecutor charged the army doctor with public indecency and disobeying military orders, despite the decision of those investigating the virginity tests, during their interrogations of the defendant, to charge him with sexual assault. During its consideration of the case, the military court refused the plaintiff's request to amend the charge to sexual assault.
Samira Ibrahim's lawyers also presented the military court with the testimonies of four witnesses, stating that four different members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces admitted to the practice of virginity testing before them on four separate occasions, leaving no doubt that they knew the procedure was being carried out on female demonstrators. The members of SCAF also stated that the procedure was routine, in order to protect the army from possible rape allegations, and that it would not be repeated in the future.
The undersigned organizations added: 'We have enough evidence and witnesses to prove that the crime took place, but we need recourse to a truly independent and fair judiciary – not a body subordinate to the Ministry of Defense, itself implicated in the crime.'
It must be noted, too, that the military court's ruling comes less than three months after the Court of Administrative Justice ruling ordering the military council to halt the policy of conducting virginity tests on inmates of military prisons, considering them a grave violation of bodily integrity and the right to privacy.
1. Alliance of Women's Organizations1
2. Socialist Popular Alliance Party – Women's Committee
3. Egyptian Social Democratic Party – Women's Committee
4. Baheya ya Masr Movement
5. Front to Defend Creative Freedom
6. Association for Egyptian Mothers
7. Association of Mothers with Custody
8. Revolutionary Women's Coalition
9. Free Egyptian Woman Initiative
10. Egyptian Women for Change
11. April 6 Movement
12. Youth for Justice and Freedom Movement
13. Sexual Violence Taskforce
14. Union for Combating Violence against Women
15. Misriyoun Against Religious Discrimination
16. The Young Feminist Initiative
1- The Alliance includes the following organizations: New Women Foundation; the Forum for Women in Development; the Women and Memory Forum; El-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence; Center for Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance; Appropriate Communication Technologies for Development (ACT Egypt); Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights; Nazra for Feminist Studies; the Alliance for Arab Women; Egyptian Foundation for Family Development; Bashayer-Helwan; Daughters of the Land Association; the Legal Association for the Protection of the Family; Mothers' Association for Rights and Development.