Egypt’s ruling party is paying gangs of thugs to sexually assault women protesting in Cairo’s Tahrir Square against President Mohamed Morsi, activists said.
They also said the Muslim Brotherhood is paying gangs to beat up men who are taking part in the latest round of protests, which followed a decree by President Morsi to give himself sweeping new powers.
Around 200,000 people gathered yesterday in Tahrir Square, the heart of last year’s revolution which toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
Large marches from around Cairo flowed into the square, chanting ‘Constitution: Void!’ and The people want to bring down the regime.’
But amid the calls for democracy a sinister threat has emerged.
Magda Adly, the director of the Nadeem Centre for Human Rights, said that under Mubarak, the Government paid thugs to beat male protestors and sexually assault women.
‘This is still happening now,’ she told The Times. ‘I believe thugs are being paid money to do this … the Muslim Brotherhood have the same political approaches as Mubarak,’ she said.
One protestor, Yasmine, told the newspaper how she had been in the square filming the demonstrations for a few hours when the crowd suddenly turned.
Before she knew what was happening, about 50 men had surrounded her and began grabbing her breasts. She said they ripped off her clothes, starting with her headscarf and for nearly an hour, indecently assaulted her with their hands.
A few men tried to help her but they were beaten away. Eventually some residents who had seen the attack from their windows came to her aid and an elderly couple pulled her into their home. She suffered internal injuries and was unable to walk for a week.
Remember all the War on Women talk? Whatever happened to that?