Correction or Update, not sure which: 6/12/12: A friend told me that these assaults are not common or representative of what goes on in the urban areas of Egypt. The rural areas are more accurately depicted. I can’t say for sure because little of what comes out from the media can be counted on for accuracy and I’m not willing to visit Egypt to find out.
Original Story: 6/8: Mobs of hundreds of men rampaged through a crowd of women holding an anti-sex assault rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today. The women were beaten and sexually molested.
The assault appeared to be planned in an attempt to drive women out of any democracy movement.
Earlier this week, the AP reported that 200 men molested a woman who fainted before she could be rescued.
Kuwait Times: CAIRO: Her screams were not drowned out by the clamor of the crazed mob of nearly 200 men around her. An endless number of hands reached toward the woman in the red shirt in an assault scene that lasted less than 15 minutes but felt more like an hour. She was pushed by the sea of men for about a block into a side street from Tahrir Square. Many of the men were trying to break up the frenzy, but it was impossible to tell who was helping and who was assaulting. Pushed against the wall, the unknown woman’s head finally disappeared. Her screams grew fainter, then stopped. Her slender tall frame had clearly given way. She apparently had passed out. The helping hands finally splashed the attackers with bottles of water to chase them away.
The assault late Tuesday was witnessed by an Associated Press reporter who was almost overwhelmed by the crowd herself and had to be pulled to safety by men who ferried her out of the melee in an open Jeep…Read more…
Today’s march included a group of about 50 women who were surrounded by a ring of men who were there to protect them. The women and their male protectors carried placards saying, “The people want to cut the hand of the sexual harasser,” and chanted, “The Egyptian girl says it loudly, harassment is barbaric.”
The mobs of men broke through the ring of men protecting the women and put their hands down their clothes, pulled at their clothes and beat them. The women eventually made their way to safety in a building.
This sort of thing happened before the Tahrir Square rebellion against Mubarek. Women reported molestation as they walked down a street.
NGO’s were working on the issue of violence against women in Egypt before they were put on trial last year.
In March of 2011, Hillary Clinton in a speech at the Second Annual Women in the World Stories and Solutions in NYC, made the following remarks –
“In Egypt, the women who marched for freedom in Tahrir Square are now shut out of the committees and the councils deciding the shape of Egypt’s new democracy. The Constitutional Committee has not a single woman member. And when women marched on Tuesday to celebrate International Women’s Day in their new democracy, they were met by harassment and abuse.
“Now, the women of Tunisia and Egypt are working hard to ensure that these developments do not derail the transition to democracy. As one leading women’s rights activist in Cairo recently said, “We will have to fight for our rights. It will be tough and require lobbying, but that’s what democracy is all about.”
“Egyptian women have launched a petition urging the Constitutional Committee to add a female legal expert to help guide the formation of the new government. More than 60 Egyptian organizations representing hundreds of leading women have now joined this effort. Plans are underway to create a volunteer force to protect against harassment…
In February, 2011, a mob of 200 men raped and beat news reporter, Lara Logan –
Read more about today’s assault at CBS News