Feminist movements continue to fight the culture of impunity in Egypt

Muzn Hasan
  • By Sania Farooqui (New Delhi, India)
  • Inter Press service

Amnesty International In a statement, many protesters in Tahrir Square were placed in military custody on March 9, 2011 – the day following International Women’s Day – and were subjected to severe torture, including beatings, pressure with electro-shock batons, strip searches and forced to undergo “virginity tests.” And the threat of prostitution

Major General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, said that “virginity tests” were conducted on the detainees in March “to protect” the army from potential rape allegations.

When the Administrative Court issued a ruling against this practice and described it as illegal, a Military court The doctor who performed these tests acquitted, sending a clear message of impunity.

A decade after the January 25 revolution in Egypt, the country continues to thrive based on a culture of impunity. to me 2013 United Nations The study found that nearly all Egyptian women – 99 percent of them were victims of sexual harassment. Egypt continued to deny accusations of these gross human rights violations and sexual violence. In 2020, Human rights groups The number of detainees in Egypt is estimated at 60,000 political prisoners, including activists, journalists and lawyers

Mozn Hassan, one of the most outspoken Egyptian voices in the field of human rights, is the founder and executive director of Nazra Foundation for Feminist Studies, building an Egyptian feminist movement and supporting women human rights defenders through legal and psychological intervention in the country long before the Egyptian revolution. In 2011.

Nazra for Feminist Studies was established in 2005 in Cairo, where it continued to build the feminist movement in Egypt and the MENA region. “We are losing every day, but feminism in Egypt is not a failed movement,” Mozn Hassan tells IPS News.

“Being an independent feminist voice can cost you a lot. Targeting government agencies, asset freezes, travel bans and accusations of supporting women to obtain” incurable freedom “or facing threats of charges that could lead to life imprisonment, Mozon said,” are just a few. ”

Since June 2016, Mozn Hasan has been in a travel ban, following previous incidents of harassment against Nazra for Feminist Studies, including summons related to a foreign funding case. In January 2017, the Cairo Criminal Court decided to freeze the assets of Muzn Hassan and her non-governmental organization Nazra for Feminist Studies. In July 2020, the North Cairo Criminal Court refused to appeal the travel ban, and later postponed the review of the request to cancel this ban.

“What is happening to Nazra is a clear example that patriarchal and conservative individuals cannot accept feminist and feminist actions. I am just one amongst other human rights defenders who have been accused of supporting women to obtain“ irresponsible freedom ”.

We saw different types of pain, loss and sadness. We saw systematic sexual assaults. We see friends celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Egyptian revolution in prison during the time of COVID-19. At the same time, we also see women’s movements struggling and struggling to obtain rights, something that never happened in the Egyptian constitution, “says Muzn.

In November 2019, the member states of the United Nations were in The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council in Geneva He criticized the human rights crisis in Egypt, calling for an end to torture and ill-treatment, investigation of crimes committed by the security forces, allowing NGOs and activists to operate independently, and protecting human rights in the context of combating terrorism.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and several UN experts have repeatedly condemned the violations in Egypt. Several countries urged Egypt to take serious measures to stop violations against women.

“It’s hard to be an activist, being a harder feminist and being someone who isn’t part of a social gang is even more difficult in Egypt. It’s really a choice,” Mozn says.

A decade after the revolution in Egypt that toppled the old dictator, what followed the country was economic collapse, job losses, deteriorating human rights, brutal military dictatorships, failed public health care systems, and grinding poverty. The Committee to Protect Journalists has ranked Egypt third, after China and Turkey, in detaining journalists.

The only way to follow is to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing, and to continue believing in what is right, says Muzn. We are getting support from the people, there are small changes but without a process of freedom and democracy, the costs will always be higher than the gains. We need a comprehensive vision united by the political will to move forward. ”

“Solidarity is the secret that keeps us going, and we are cured of those who want to stop us. Solidarity was the main aspect of our resilience in view and for me personally as well.”

Sania Farooqi New Delhi-based journalist and filmmaker. She hosts a weekly online show called Sania Farooqi Show Muslim women from all over the world are invited to share their views.

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© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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