Virginity test victim, lawyer disappointed with case progression

The case filed by virginity test victim Samira Ibrahim in military court against the military doctor who violated her and six other women last March was postponed today to Sunday.

Both Ibrahim and her lawyer are frustrated with the development of the case. While Ibrahim complains of the long waits in court and calls the trial “an act,” her lawyer Ahmed Hossam is more concerned about the weak case of the prosecutor and the lack of corroboration from witnesses.

Hossam says that all the evidence presented in the case so far supports the defendant’s allegation that the victims were only asked about their virginity and not physically tested.

The defense’s version of events is nothing like the stories that the women recounted of being stripped and tested by hand in a room with open doors and windows while officers and employees in the military prison watched.

Hossam, who is a lawyer with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, says that he is at a loss for words to describe the disappointing testimonies of the military doctors who witnessed the incident and testified in court on Monday.

When he asked them about the procedures for performing medical tests on female detainees, Hossam says that the two doctors, who have been working in military prisons for a year, evaded the question and said they didn’t know the procedures.

While interrogating a military officer who was present during the incident, Hossam says that he refused to reveal the identities of the female prison employees who were present during the tests.

“The prosecution hasn’t offered any evidence against the defendant and did all the investigations in the absence of the victim,” says Hossam.

Because of the nature of the military court, which only allows lawyers for the defendant, Hossam doesn’t have a legal status in the case.

Since the first session of the case in December, it has been postponed eight times. The military judiciary imposed a media ban on the case last week. Ibrahim’s comments through her Twitter account revealed an increasing frustration.

On her way to court on Monday, Ibrahim posted on her Twitter account: “The military judiciary is corrupt, incompetent and biased; its greatest achievement is snatching away the rights of the people.”

Ibrahim won a verdict from an administrative court in December to ban the future practice of virginity tests in military prisons, but now she is becoming increasingly hopeless about the prospects of attaining justice against her own assailant.

Rasha Ali Abdelrahman, another virginity test victim, is scheduled to testify in Sunday’s session.

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