Egyptian-American Journalist Tweets She was Sexually Assaulted, Beaten While in Custody in Cairo

PHOTO: Canadian author Irshad Manji, left, and journalist Mona Eltahawy attend the moderate Muslims conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in this Sept. 30, 2006 file photo.
Share
Copy

Acclaimed Egyptian-American columnist Mona Eltahawy, released today in Cairo, said Egyptian security forces sexually assaulted and beat her so severely that an arm and hand were broken during her overnight detention.

"I AM FREE," she wrote on her Twitter page just after noon local time. "12 hours with Interior Ministry bastards and military intelligence combined. Can barely type -- must go xray arms after CSF [Central Security Forces] pigs beat me," she tweeted.

Shortly before dawn today, Eltahawy wrote a cryptic tweet that read: "Beaten arrested in interior ministry."

Eltahawy said that while she was in custody "5 or 6 surrounded me, groped and prodded my breasts, grabbed my genital area and I lost count how many hands tried to get into my trousers."

"They are dogs and their bosses are dogs. F*** the Egyptian police," she tweeted.

Clashes have been raging around the Interior Ministry and across Egypt since Saturday, the day after hundreds of thousands turned out to protest the ruling military council's attempts to limit civilian oversight.

Peaceful demonstrations soon turned violent, and the calls went up for the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi to step down. For six days, Cairo and other Egyptian cities have seen running battles with riot police, enduring volley after volley of tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets. Around 40 people have been killed and thousands injured.

There have been many recent reports of sexual assault in Egypt. Egyptian and foreign women alike regularly complain about abuse. One of the more prominent cases this year was that of CBS News' Lara Logan on the night President Hosni Mubarak stepped down. She was separated from her team and security on Cairo's Tahrir Square and was sexually assaulted by a gang of men.

Eltahawy has been very vocal about the treatment of women in Egypt, as well as vociferously opposing first Mubarak and then the practices of the military council that replaced him.

The Egyptian-born journalist now lives in the United States and has passports from both countries.

"God knows what wuld've happened if I wasn't dual citizen," she tweeted. "Egypt must be free of those bastards."

During her detention, military intelligence took over, and Eltahawy said she was blindfolded for two hours. Eventually, officials recorded her statement, took pictures and then released her with a promise that they would investigate.

Eltahawy was taken to the hospital and later posted a smiling photo on Twitter with both her arms in casts.

"The whole time I was thinking about article I would write," she wrote. "Just you f***ers wait."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...