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Doctor cleared in Egypt virginity tests trial

Samira Ibrahim is one of 18 girls that came forward saying they were violated by the military [Al Jazeera]

A military doctor in Egypt accused of forcing some woman protesters to undergo virginity tests has been found “not guilty” by a military court.

Ahmed Adel was cleared because the judge found contradictions in witness statements.

The case was brought by one of the women, Samira Ibrahim, who said the “tests” took place after they had been detained during protests last year.

As many as 18 came forward saying they were violated last year during the revolution.

The women were arrested when the army cleared Cairo’s Tahrir Square after the fall of Hosni Mubarak in March last year.

The ruling comes “from what has been proven in documents and based on my conscience,” the judge said according to the MENA news agency, adding that he had “not been  subjected to any pressures.”

Adel was accused of “public indecency” and “disobeying military orders”, after the initial charge of rape had been dropped.

‘Woman’s rights not important’

Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh reporting from outside the court in Cairo, said “It was chaotic in the court-room after the verdict was announced, outside the court-room people were chanting against the military rule.”

“This verdict will not go down well with the public”, said our reporter.

Getting the case into court was considered a victory for the female  protesters who were subjected to the tests and had raised hopes of further  trials of those accused of abuse.

Sunday’s ruling could also have implications for other cases filed by women  against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power when  Mubarak was ousted, for violence against them.

“These test had amounted to torture and verdict has sent a wrong message,” Hassiba Hadj Sah-raoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International, the UK-based human-rights organisation, told Al Jazeera.

“It shows that women’s rights are not important in Egypt.”

Human-rights organisations had said there had been many other such tests by the military.

In December, a video of military police dragging a woman along the ground with troops surrounding her and kicking her on the chest, as well as an another  video showing military personnel beating a female protester sparked further  outrage.

In December an Egyptian court ordered a halt to forced virginity tests on female detainees in military prisons.

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