Amnesty urges Morsi to take ‘drastic steps’ to end sexual violence against women in Egypt

Johannesburg, Feb. 7 (ANI): Amnesty International has urged Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to take ‘drastic steps’ to end sexual violence against women in the country, following a number of incidents of mob attacks around Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said horrific, violent attacks on women including rape in the vicinity of Tahrir Square demonstrate that it was now crucial for Morsi to take drastic steps to end this culture of impunity and gender-based discrimination, and for all political leaders to speak out.

He said that ‘it was vital to carry out impartial, thorough investigations to determine whether these mob attacks are co-ordinated by state or organised non-state actors and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice’.

According to news24, on Cairo’s streets, sexual harassment of women, regardless of whether or not they wear an Islamic headscarf, is common in the form of obscenities, touching or groping.

But an increase in the number of mob attacks, sexual violence against women and even rape have raised the alarm and prompted the creation of several groups to combat the problem.

Amnesty said that as Egyptians took to the streets to mark the second anniversary of their uprising on 25 January, nearly 25 cases of sexual violence were reported.

In a recent statement, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay slammed the failure of authorities to prevent acts of sexual aggression, it added. (ANI)

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