CAIRO — The Egyptian government has denied a report by The New York Times that women who encounter the country’s justice system risk sexual abuse during searches by state authorities.
The Times found a dozen women who said they were sexually violated by officials in police stations, prisons and hospitals. Experts said that anecdotal evidence suggested that such incidents occur frequently.
In a statement posted on Facebook and Twitter on Friday, the government “denied the validity” of the accusations by the women, saying they were part of an effort “to spread rumors and lies.”
The brief statement by the Ministry of Interior, which oversees the police and prisons, also said that accusations of “systemic physical violations” against female detainees were false.
The statement did not identify the security source, indicate whether the women’s claims had been investigated, or offer an explanation for the denial of a systemic problem.
The government did not respond to a request for more information about the statement.
The women interviewed for the Times article stand by their stories, which are consistent with years of complaints of sexual abuse of women by the police and other justice officials. Human rights groups have documented similar cases.
A police officer quoted in the article said that sexual abuse of women by legal authorities was “everywhere,” and that the aim was not to gather evidence but to “humiliate your humanity.”
After the military strip-searched at least 18 women at a protest in 2011 and subjected them to so-called virginity tests, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was then the head of military intelligence, promised
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