US Repeatedly Shipped Arms to Egyptian Security Forces Despite Lethal Crackdown

egypt tear gas

© Nameer Galal/Demotix

The Egyptian uprising is at a crucial point.  A new cabinet is in power, a new parliament elected, but what it adds up to is all in the air, particularly with the military today making waves about how it will take a leading role in writing the new constitution.

The American reaction, both governmental and popular, hasn’t been entirely helpful.  The latest distraction is panic over whether Islamists will use their electoral power to turn Egypt into another Iran.  Nicholas Kristof today presents a compelling rebuttal as to why Egypt will not take that route.


Ending 'Virginity Tests' and the Future of Women's Rights in Egypt

After an international campaign and a meeting with Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty, one of Egypt’s top military rulers announced Monday that the army will no longer carry out forced ‘virginity tests’ against detained women.

Although this is a positive development, Maj. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s comments must translate into unequivocal instructions to army staff that women are never forced to undergo this treatment again in Egypt.

When army officers violently cleared Tahrir Square on March 9, 17 women were detained, beaten, prodded with electric shock batons, subjected to strip searches, forced to submit to ‘virginity tests’ and threatened with prostitution charges.

The women were brought before a military court two days later and released on March 13. Several received one-year suspended sentences for charges including disorderly conduct, destroying property, obstructing traffic and possession of weapons.