Mona Eltahawy tells CNN about her sexual assault from Egyptian police
Renowned Egyptian American journalist Mona Eltahawy appeared on CNN throughout Friday to discuss her brutal beating at the hands of Egyptian police forces at Tahrir Square.
Speaking on The Situation Room with guest host Joe Johns, Eltahawy discussed her horrifying sexual assault, which resulted in a broken arm and hand.
“They cornered me, because I wasn’t able to get out,” she said. “And I was surrounded by about four or five riot police, who rained down blows with their big sticks. As they were dragging me, they subjected me to the worst kind of sexual assault that I’ve ever experienced. Hands all over my body, groping my breasts, hands in between my legs, so many hands that I lost count were put in-between my belts and trying to get in between my trousers.”
“It was horrendous. They pulled my hair, they called me all kinds of curses, and they dragged me all the way into the interior ministry where the groping continued all the way.”
She added: “Finally, someone from the army told them to take me inside. So I was put into a room, where I basically spent the next five or six hours. But I kept telling them, ‘My hand and my arm are broken, I need to see a doctor.’ So no one gave me medical care. And they kept saying you didn’t have your I.D, because I didn’t have my passport with me, I left it with my friends in the Square. So the pretext that they kept me there under was that they were trying to determine my identity. But it doesn’t take someone five hours to recognize someone’s identity.”
Eltahawy told Johns that police and military sexual assault on women journalists and activists was prevalent in Egypt instead of an “isolated incident,” the term police labeled what happened to her.
Watch this video from CNN’s The Situation Room, broadcast Sept. 25, 2011.