Egypt's Day of Shame: Video Shows Women Beaten with Metal Poles
Inderdeep Bains, Daily Mail UK
hocking images revealing the brutality of Egypt's armed forces in quelling protests caused outrage around the world yesterday.
In a video broadcast on the internet, security forces dressed in riot gear are seen chasing a woman and beating her to the ground with metal bars before stripping her and kicking her repeatedly. One soldier stamps his foot hard on her chest.
Other images showed women beaten unconscious.
After being viciously beaten by the ten-strong mob, the woman lies helplessly on the ground as her shirt is ripped from her body and a man kicks her with full force in her exposed chest.
Moments earlier she had been struck countless times in the head and body with metal batons, not content with the brutal beating delivered by his fellow soldier, one man stamped on her head repeatedly.
She feebly tried to shield her head from the relentless blows with her hands.
But she was knocked unconscious in the shameful attack and left lying motionless as the military men mindlessly continued to beat her limp and half-naked body.
Before she was set upon by the guards, three men appeared to carry her as they tried to flee the approaching military.
But they were too slow and the soldiers caught up with them, capturing the women and knocking one of the men to the ground.
The two other men were forced to abandoned their fellow protestors and continued running, looking helplessly back at the two they left behind being relentlessly attacked as they lay on the ground.
This is just one of the hundreds of shameful injustices seen in Cairo's Tahrir Square where Egypt's military took a dramatically heavy hand on Saturday to crush protests against its rule.
Clashes with security forces continued for a third day yesterday near Egypt's parliament. Soldiers erected huge concrete barricades, but an exchange of stones and firebombs continued. The army also used water tanks to spray the crowd and fired gun shots in the air.
At least ten have been killed in the violence, including two children aged 12 and 13. Two died after their skulls were fractured by stones thrown during the battles and at least six were shot dead, despite army and government claims that no live fire was being used.
In Tahrir Square, centre of the violence, demonstrators demanding an end to military rule have been camped out for the last few weeks. A 14-year-old girl pushed back her headscarf to reveal a bloodied bandage. She was struck on the head by a stone thrown by a soldier on a rooftop.
Her mother said they had come every day to protest against the brutal methods of the military council which has controlled the country since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted following mass street protests last February. 'There is no justice in Egypt any more,' she said.
Aya Emad said that troops dragged her by her headscarf and hair into the Cabinet headquarters. The 24-year-old said soldiers kicked her on the ground, an officer shocked her with an electrical prod and another slapped her on the face, leaving her nose broken and her arm in a sling.
Mona Seif, an activist who was briefly detained Friday, said she saw an officer repeatedly slapping a detained old woman in the face.
'It was a humiliating scene,' Seif told the private TV network Al-Nahar. 'I have never seen this in my life.'
In Bahrain a similar pictured was emerging with a video clip showing a female human rights activist being hit by a policewoman during clashes between police and anti-government protestors.
Police fired teargas to break up a demonstration by several hundred people on the outskirts of the capital, Manama where several women staged a sit-in protest trying to block a main road.
After nearly 48 hours of continuous fighting in Egypt's capital more than 300 were left injured and nine dead, many of them shot dead.
The most sustained crackdown yet is likely a sign that the generals who took power after the February ouster of Hosni Mubarak are confident that the Egyptian public is on its side after two rounds of widely acclaimed parliament elections, that Islamist parties winning the vote will stay out of the fight while pro-democracy protesters become more isolated.
Still, the generals risk turning more Egyptians against them, especially from outrage over the abuse of women.
'Do they think this is manly?' Toqa Nosseir, a 19-year old student, said of the attacks on women. 'Where is the dignity?'
Nosseir joined the protest over her parents' objections because she couldn't tolerate the clashes she had seen.
'No one can approve or accept what is happening here,' she said.
'The military council wants to silence all criticism. They want to hold on power ... I will not accept this humiliation just for the sake of stability.'
Nearby in Tahrir, protesters held up newspapers with the image of the half-stripped woman on the front page to passing cars, shouting sarcastically, 'This is the army that is protecting us!'
'Are you not ashamed?' leading reform figure and Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei posted on Twitter in an address to the ruling military council.
Egypt's new, military-appointed interim prime minister defended the military, denying it shot protesters. He said gunshot deaths were caused by other attackers he didn't identify.
He accused the protesters of being 'anti-revolution.'
The main street between Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the anti-Mubarak protests, and the parliament and Cabinet buildings where the clashes began early the previous morning looked like a war zone on Saturday.
Military police on rooftops pelting protesters below with stones and firebombs and launched truncheon-swinging assaults to drive the crowds back.
Young activists put helmets or buckets on their heads or grabbed sheets of concrete and even satellite dishes as protection against the stones hailing down from the roofs.
The streets were strewn with chunks of concrete, stones ,broken glass, burned furniture and peddlers' carts as clashes continued to rage after nightfall Saturday.
The clashes began early on Friday with a military assault on a 3-week-old sit-in outside the Cabinet building by protesters demanding the military hand over power immediately to civilians.
More than a week of heavy fighting erupted in November, leaving more than 40 dead - but that was largely between police and protesters, with the military keeping a low profile.
In the afternoon, military police charged into Tahrir, swinging truncheons and long sticks, briefly chasing out protesters and setting fire to their tents.
They trashed a field hospital set up by protesters, swept into buildings where television crews were filming and briefly detained journalists. They tossed the camera and equipment of an Al-Jazeera TV crew off the balcony of a building.
A journalist who was briefly detained told The Associated Press that he was beaten up with sticks and fists while being led to into the parliament building. Inside, he saw a group of detained young men and one woman.
Each was surrounded by six or seven soldiers beating him or her with sticks or steel bars or giving electrical shocks with prods.
'Blood covered the floor, and an officer was telling the soldiers to wipe the blood,' said the journalist.
As night fell in Tahrir, clashes continued around a concrete wall that the military erected to block the avenue from Tahrir to parliament.
In Bahrain, Zainab al-Khawaja, 27, was arrested and dragged across the floor by her handcuffs after police fired teargas to break up a demonstration by several hundred people on the outskirts of the capital, Manama.
Ms al-Khawaja and several other women staged a sit-in protest trying to block a main road. The other women fled the scene but Ms al-Khawaja refused.
Riot police fired tear-gas at the women, with dozens requiring hospital treatment after the incident.
A report by a panel of human rights experts in November found that Bahraini security forces had used excessive forces and carried out the systematic abuse of prisoners, including torture, when the regime sent in troops to crush the uprising in March.