Several cases of sexual assault have been reported from Tahrir Square on Friday, 19 being cases of women being groped, verbally assaulted or raped.
An Egyptian woman less than 20 years old was sexually assaulted on Friday night amidst demonstrations in and around Tahrir. The assault caused cuts on the girl’s genitals.
A spokesperson for Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment (OpAntiSH), an activist group that aims to prevent sexual harassment, said the girl has since been released from the hospital.
OpAntiSH intervened in 15 of the 19 cases of sexual harassment reported. The encounters occurred between 5 pm 1 am Friday evening.
The anti-harassment group is supported by several established organizations including Harassmap and the Egyptian Initative for Personal Rights (EIPR). Volunteers provide medical, legal, and emotional support for victims of sexual harassment in addition to “safe houses” to help women recover from assault.
“Some of the [victims] were groped while some women were fingered by large groups of mobs from the front and behind. They were bitten in all parts of their bodies, and all their belongings were stolen,” the OpAntiSH spokesperson said.
Some female members of the group were assaulted while attempting to help other women. One assaulted activist of the group has written her testimony on the group’s Facebook page.
Engy Ghozlan of Harassmap thinks there were thugs paid to harass women in Tahrir Square. “By listening to several testimonies, my personal opinion is that this is a planned attempt to scare girls from participating in protests,” she added.
In Alexandria, Aya Rady, an anchor for Sky News Arabia, was also sexually harassed.
Rady was reporting on protests near Alexandria Local Council when she was attacked by a group of men. According to a video on Masrawy online portal, a group of people sitting in a cafe nearby intervened. She was taken to the hospital suffering from bruises and a nervous breakdown.