Egyptian mobs sexually assaulted and in some cases raped at least 91 women in Cairo's Tahrir Square over four days of protests calling for President Mohamed Mursi to step down, Human Rights Watch said.
One woman needed surgery after being raped with a sharp object. Other women were beaten with metal chains, sticks, and chairs, and attacked with knives. In some cases they were assaulted for as long as 45 minutes before they were able to escape.
“The rampant sexual attacks during the Tahrir Square protests highlight the failure of the government and all political parties to face up to the violence that women in Egypt experience on a daily basis in public spaces,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement.
In a video produced by the U.S.-based rights watchdog, several women describe their experience of being sexually attacked in a country that is becoming notorious for the sexual harassment of its women.
Egypt's army ousted Mursi on Thursday in a crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood movement that won several elections last year. The clock started ticking for Mursi when millions took to the streets on Sunday to demand he resign. They accused the Brotherhood of hijacking the revolution, entrenching its power and - critically for many - failing to revive the economy. Video produced by Human Rights Watch