Pharmacist beaten by colleagues for not wearing hijab released from jail – Middle East Monitor

An Egyptian woman who was beaten by female colleagues for not wearing a hijab and then arrested by security forces has now been released from prison pending trial.

In October last year, a video of Isis Moustafa, then 27, being beaten and dragged on the floor by her hair by her colleagues pulling her hair went viral.

The violent attack, which took place at the Zagazig health center in the northern Sharkia governorate, was one of several incidents of intimidation reported by Isis against her colleagues.

But the story took a sinister turn when after filing a complaint at the Zagazig police station, Isis was herself arrested and charged with “spreading false news and involvement in a terrorist group” and “d ‘agitate public opinion’.

Three human rights groups called for her immediate release, condemned her arbitrary detention and the fact that she was treated as an accused rather than a victim.

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In Egypt, women’s rights advocates have worked hard to point out that victims of violence, abuse and rape are routinely treated as perpetrators rather than victims, while the perpetrators themselves are often not held accountable. to render accounts.

In May 2020, a 17-year-old girl was arrested after posting a TikTok video to say she had been raped by a group of men. She was accused of “promoting debauchery”. Following an extensive campaign calling for justice, Menna Abdelaziz was finally released.

In July 2020, activists campaigned for weeks for authorities to arrest suspects involved in the Fairmont Nile City Hotel gang rape trial, as several managed to escape the country.

The authorities eventually arrested four of them but also four witnesses, although they encouraged them to present an offer of confidentiality and protection.

The witnesses were detained for nearly five months, during which they were subjected to anal exams and drug tests and vilified by state media who claimed they were part of a network homosexuals spreading AIDS.

A young Egyptian man who accompanied a witness to the police station for help was arrested for his “sexual orientation”.

The prosecution later released the gang rape suspects on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to charge them.

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