Egyptian sexual violence troubles Amnesty

Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:15 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- There is a culture of impunity regarding sexual violence targeting Egyptian women that reached a high point during January protest, said Amnesty International.

Protests turned violent in late January as Egyptians marked the second anniversary of the revolution that ended the 30-year presidency of Hosni Mubarak.

In a memo to the Egyptian government, Amnesty International said it was vital that President Mohamed Morsi and other political figures address the matter seriously.

"A clear pattern of attacks emerged through accounts given by survivors as well as activists, lawyers and doctors involved in rescue operations and follow-up support," the memo reads.

Morsi was criticized for giving national security forces judicial powers when he declared a state of emergency for parts of the country gripped by violence.

"Until the pervasive climate of impunity for such acts of gender-based violence ends, women will continue to face violent attacks while their attackers brazenly go unpunished," read Amnesty International's memo.

The rights group called on Morsi's government to, among other things, ensure victims of sexual violence get adequate compensation that includes costs for medical and psychological treatment. Law enforcement officials are urged to provide protection for women so they have the same rights to protest peacefully as do other members of society.

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