On Sunday — Egypt’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women — an angry mob of 300 men sexually assaulted three women, according to a report on the website of Egypt’s flagship paper.
According to the Egypt Independent, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported that the women, of an unknown age, had their clothes ripped from their bodies and were then chased to the nearby Mugamma administrative building in Tahrir Square.
The Al-Ahram journalist present wrote about the incident, the Independent said.
Their perpetrators followed them, but the employees of the building closed the doors to block them out.
Dozens of other demonstrators, who had been holding a sit-in in the square, saw the incident and beat the perpetrators with sticks and rocks to disperse them, and took the women to their tents in the center of the square.
The report said the Al-Ahram photographer could not take pictures of the women being assaulted, as the perpetrators threatened to destroy his camera.
Incidents of sexual assault have been increasingly reported during protests in and around Tahrir Square during the transitional period, MSN reported.
Sunday, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was not the first time women were attacked on a day protesting for women's rights.
Last March, and on International Women’s Day, a march of tens of women was attacked by a cynical mob of men who did not like women protesting for more rights.
Several female protesters were injured and one woman had to have 8 stitches in her head. Almost all of them were groped and sexually assaulted in the attack.
A 2008 study by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) found that well over two-thirds of Egyptian women are sexually harassed daily in the country.
The participants held signs that read “It is my right to protest safely,” “Groping your sister is shameful for the square” and “Be a man and protect her instead of harassing her.”
“We are fed up,” protester Mai Abdel Hafez, 24, told Bikyamasr.com.