Egyptian virginity test officer’s acquittal comes in a week where warrants are issued for prominent activists’ arrest.
Justice has never been as swift in Egypt as it was today, the 11th of March 2012. A three minute trial acquitted the ‘conscript doctor’ who performed virginity tests on Samira Ibrahim and seventeen other female protesters.
Earlier this week an American military plane landed on Egyptian soil – apparently without the knowledge of the military regime – and freed the Americans accused of illegally funding NGOs.
Of course Senator John Mccain’s visit on the same day couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with it.
The Egyptians under investigation for the same crime remain behind the bars of Egypt’s infamous military prisons. Last week two Egyptian citizens have been shot on the Israeli border, yet there has still not been a whisper of recognition from the state on this matter.
Not to mention the silent arrests, the silent trials: Asmaa Mahfouz (activist), Wael Ghonim (activist), Nawara Negm (activist), Yousri Fouda (TV presenter), Mazhar Shahin (Azhari Scholar), and Bouthaina Kamel (Presidential Candidate) are all due to appear in front of military courts. Asmaa Mahfouz was sentenced to a year before she even knew she was on trial. Abdul Monim AbolFotoh was attacked by thugs who hit him on the head with the butt of their machine guns. Yesterday, Abdu Ahmed Thabet, 6 April activist, was ‘made to disappear’ along with many who were ‘made to disappear’ during the course of this Revolution.
Believe it or not, these are the events of a slow two weeks in the Egyptian Revolution. To hear that someone you know has been shot with shrapnel bullets is almost a monthly occurrence. Society maintains a stubborn denial which inspires frightening chauvinism. A brutal video of Islam – a ten year old that was shot in the stomach with live bullets – ends with him saying the Shahada. The comments express anger at the person who uploaded the video, for trying to turn the people against the military. We must not be angry at the military for even though Islam was shot – he was only paralyzed but did not die.
Now, we cannot possibly direct our anger only at the military council, for we have an elected parliament, a representative parliament. After the military basically declared virginity testing – a form of rape – legal, the parliament was still discussing the issue of censoring internet pornography.
More evidence to the banality of bullshit in Egypt is the case of the ‘Movement for Bearded Policemen’. Seventeen policemen were sacked for growing their beards. If the parliament with a large Islamist majority cannot intervene in the security institution even to defend the most basic forms of religiosity, how are we to expect them to restructure the institution that terrorized Egyptians for decades? How are we to expect that the parliament to vouch for anything when the Mukhabrat still threatens Mohammed Beltagy – the only semi revolutionary voice remaining in the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood?
The military council has proved itself an institution beyond the state; any attack on its ‘being’ will correspond to indiscriminate massacre. Still there is no turning back, it’s either the military structure endures and survives or we – the population of 85 million – survive. This is our next battle…
Views expressed in articles are the author’s and do not represent Comment Middle East
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