What happened a year ago outside the Cabinet Offices?
On 16 December, it will be a year since soldiers tried to forcibly disperse a three-week-old peaceful sit-in outside the Cabinet Office in central Cairo. Five days of clashes followed, during which 17 protesters were killed and nearly 1,000 injured. Each day this week we bring you the story of one of the victims and a recommendation to the authorities.
Case # 3 – violence against women
The world was shocked by footage taken on 17 December, the second day of the crackdown on the Cabinet Office protest. It showed a woman protester being beaten on the ground by soldiers, tearing her abaya and revealing her bra. Azza Hilal Ahmed Suleiman, aged 49, known as the red-hooded woman on the video, tried to pull the woman away from the scene.
But then the troops attacked her. ‘They pushed me to the floor and kicked me with their boots and batons,’ she later told an Amnesty-researcher, ’that is how they broke my skull twice and injured my face, ear and other parts of my body.’
The soldiers kept on kicking her, even when Azza Suleiman fell unconscious. She survived, but today she suffers from memory problems.
Azza Hilal Ahmad Suliman submitted a complaint to the South Cairo Public Prosecution Office. To date no one has been held to account for the abuses she suffered and it is unknown whether any members of the army forces were investigated.
Sign Amnesty’s petition for Azza Suleiman.
Amnesty International’s recommendation # 3
In order to deal with this legacy of human rights abuses, the Egyptian authorities should, among other things:
- Provide all victims of human rights violations with compensation and other forms of reparation that are appropriate and proportional to the gravity of the violation, the harm suffered and the circumstances of their case, including the coverage of full medical costs to those injured during demonstrations as a result of excessive force or other abuses by members of the army and appropriate medical and other support to those subjected to sexual and gender-based violence.
Amnesty International is a global movement of more than three million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights.
Read Amnesty’s report on abuses committed by Egypt’s military.
Read case #1 of Daily News Egypt’s Cabinet Office case files.
Read case #2 of Daily News Egypt’s Cabinet Office case files.