The Egyptian Army has accepted that 'virginity tests were conducted' on women during the attempt to clear Cairo's Tahrir Square of anti-Mubarak regime protestors.
Amnesty International had issued a scathing report on the "virginity tests" and strip searches.
Initially, the Egyptian government denied the allegations, but now, Major Amr Imam of the Egyptian army has admitted that the virginity tests were conducted, and even defend the move.
"The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine. These were girls who had camped out in tents with male protesters in Tahrir Square, and we found in the tents Molotov cocktails and (drugs). We didn't want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren't virgins in the first place. None of them were (virgins)," Major Imam said.
Earlier in its report, Amnesty International had written: "20-year-old Salwa Hosseini (said) that after she was arrested and taken to a military prison in Heikstep, she was made, with the other women, to take off all her clothes to be searched by a female prison guard, in a room with two open doors and a window."
"During the strip search, Salwa Hosseini said male soldiers were looking into the room and taking pictures of the naked women. The women were then subjected to 'virginity tests' in a different room by a man in a white coat. They were threatened that 'those not found to be virgins' would be charged with prostitution," it added. (ANI)