Thousands of women protest over Cairo beatings

Thousands of woman marched through downtown Cairo on Tuesday evening to call  for the end of military rule in an extraordinary expression of anger over images  of soldiers beating, stripping and kicking a female demonstrator on the pavement  of Tahrir Square.

“Drag me, strip me, my brothers’ blood will cover me!” they chanted. “Where  is the field marshal?” they demanded, referring to Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the  head of the military council holding onto power here. “The girls of Egypt are  here.”

The event may have been the biggest women’s demonstration in Egypt’s history,  and the most significant since a 1919 march led by pioneering Egyptian feminist  Huda Shaarawi to protest British rule.

Women protest in Cairo after the police brutality.Women protest in Cairo after the police brutality. Photo:  Reuters

The women’s chants were evidently heard at military headquarters as well. On  Tuesday evening, the ruling military council offered an abrupt apology.

“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces expresses its utmost sorrow for the  great women of Egypt, for the violations that took place during the recent  events,” the council said in a statement. “It stresses its great appreciation  for the women of Egypt and for their right to protest and to actively,  positively participate in political life on the path of democratic  transition.”

Although no one in the military has been publicly investigated or charged in  connection with any misconduct, the statement asserted that the council had  already taken “all the legal actions to hold whoever is responsible  accountable.”

 

A protester holds a picture of one of the victims of the police brutality.A protester holds a picture of one of the victims of the police brutality. Photo: AP

Just two hours before the women massed, a coalition of liberal and human  rights groups unveiled a plan to try to break the state media’s grip on public  opinion by holding screenings around the country of video capturing recent  military abuses.

In the most famous of those, a half dozen soldiers beating a woman with  batons rip away her abaya to reveal her blue bra before one plants his boot on  her chest.

When a core of activists called for a Tuesday march to protest the military’s  treatment of women few could have expected the magnitude of the response.

By 4 in the afternoon, thousands had gathered in Tahrir Square.

“I am here because of our girls who were stripped in the street,” said Sohir  Mahmoud, 50, a housewife who said she was demonstrating for the first time. “Men  are not going to cover your flesh so we will,” she told a younger woman. “We  have to come down and call for our rights nobody is going to call for our rights  for us.”

NYT

 

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About pagan66

I am Pagan, a Witch, a Healer, Mystic & Dreamer. I live in Service to the One. I will Protect & Respect Her bounties to my last breath. I am a Seeker of Truth, a Reformer, A Historian - an Advocate for Religious Freedom, Tolerance & Human Rights. I am a Protector of Animals & Children & those less fortunate than myself. I am a Reader & a Writer - an Artist. I am a Drummer, Gardener & Cook. I listen to the Wisdom of the Ancients. If you take a copy of the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind and the rain." Herbalist Carol McGrath as told to her by a Native-American woman. "When one defines oneself as Pagan, it means she or he follows an earth or nature religion, one that sees the divine manifest in all creation. The cycles of nature are our holy days, the earth is our temple, its plants and creatures our partners and teachers. We worship a deity that is both male and female, a mother Goddess and father God, who together created all that is, was, or will be. We respect life, cherish the free will of sentient beings, and accept the sacredness of all creation." Edain McCoy View all posts by pagan66

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