Egypt unrest: Court clears 'virginity test' doctor

Samira Ibrahim The legal action brought by Samira Ibrahim has put a stop to virginity tests on female protesters

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A military court in Egypt has acquitted an army doctor accused of carrying out forced "virginity tests" on women protesters, state media reports.

Ahmed Adel was cleared because the judge found contradictions in witness statements, the state news agency said.

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.

Demonstrators gathered outside the court to protest against the ruling.

The practice drew an outcry after Ms Ibrahim and other women spoke out about their treatment following their arrest during a protest in Tahrir Square in March 2011 - weeks after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.

They said they had been forced by the Egyptian army, while in detention, to submit to a five-minute-long so-called virginity test by a male doctor.

The army initially denied such tests had taken place, but Amnesty International reported that a senior general, speaking anonymously, later admitted that they had happened.

Ms Ibrahim launched a legal challenge to prevent such tests happening again, and Cairo's administrative court eventually ruled that the tests were illegal.

Ahead of Ahmed Adel's case, Ms Ibrahim claimed witnesses she hoped would speak in her defence had changed their story at the last minute, our correspondent reports from Cairo.

According to Egypt's state-run news agency Mena, the judge said he made the ruling "from what has been proven in documents and based on my conscience", adding that he had "not been subjected to any pressures".

Writing on her Twitter account, Ms Ibrahim said the verdict had stained the honour of Egypt and she would carry on until she had "restored Egypt's rights".

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says it has been notoriously difficult to secure the conviction of police or soldiers accused of mistreating protesters during Egypt's revolution.

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