The Human Rights Watch organization (HRW) reported that about 91 women have suffered sexual abuse and harassment in Tahrir square, in the Centre of Cairo, which has become the scene of protests against the Egyptian President, Mohamed Mursi.
HRW said in a statement that acts of harassment began last Sunday, when the demonstrations started, in a climate of impunity, despite the action of volunteers deployed in the square trying to avoid them, the organization also urged the authorities of the country to condemn the “frightening” level that has reached the sexual violence against women in Tahrir.
“These crimes are preventing the women from participating fully in the public life of Egypt at the critical moment that the country is going through,” said Joe Stork, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch in the Middle East.
The Egyptian initiative called ‘Operation Anti Sexual harassment’ set a telephone line available to those affected so that they can denounce aggressions, and confirmed that last Sunday was the day they received more complaints. 46 attacks were reported, which in some cases occurred with knives, metal chains, sticks and even chairs.
According to a 2010 report from the National Center for women’s rights, 83 percent of Egyptian women have been victims of sexual harassment, and only 12% of them have dared to report the assault to the police.