Saturday, June 30, 2012

Women molested at anti-sexual harassment rally in Tahrir Sq.

Associated Press

Egyptian men molest women at anti-sexual harassment rally

 June 10, 2012

CAIRO: A mob of hundreds of men have assaulted women holding a march demanding an end to sexual harassment, with the attackers overwhelming the male guardians and groping and molesting several of the female marchers in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

From the ferocity of the assault, some victims said it appeared to have been an organized attempt to drive women out of demonstrations and trample on the pro-democracy protest movement.

The attack follows smaller scale assaults on women this week in Tahrir, the epicenter of the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak to step down last year.

Thousands have been gathering in the square this week in protests over a variety of issues - mainly over worries that presidential elections this month will secure the continued rule by elements of Mubarak's regime backed by the ruling military.

Earlier in the week, an Associated Press reporter witnessed around 200 men assault a woman who eventually fainted before men trying to help could reach her. Friday's march was called to demand an end to sexual assaults.

Around 50 women participated , surrounded by a larger group of male supporters who joined to hands to form a protective ring around them.

After the marchers entered a crowded corner of the square, a group of men waded into the group of women, heckling them and groping them. The male supporters tried to fend them off, and it turned into a melee involving a mob of hundreds.

But the attackers persisted , cornering several women against a metal sidewalk railing , shoving their hands down their clothes and trying to grab their bags. The male supporters fought back, swinging belts and fists and throwing water.

Eventually, the women were able to reach refuge in a nearby building with the mob still outside until they finally got out to safety.

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