Egypt attacks 'foreign interference' over abuse of women

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Egypt attacks 'foreign interference' over abuse of women

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Egypt has reacted angrily to what it has denounced as “foreign interference” in response to international condemnation of the abuse of women by the army.

The row comes as Egyptians returned to the polls in the second phase of voting in a parliamentary election. It follows five days of violence that have left at least 14 people dead in Cairo.

Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr said the country would not accept any interference in its internal affairs.

Images showing a female protester being beaten and dragged along the ground by soldiers have caused outrage at home and abroad. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned what she called the “systematic degradation of Egyptian women”.

Ghada Kamal Abdel Khaleq, said to be the troops’ victim, posted a video on the internet saying she was attacked as she took part in a protest near government buildings.

“An officer threatened me with death. He said ‘I’ve got my eye on you, I won’t let you go’,” she said.

The abuse prompted thousands of women to protest in Cairo on Tuesday against their treatment by soldiers.

The international organisation Human Rights Watch said attacks by the military had risen. It dismissed the ruling council’s claims that abuse was being investigated, saying the poor record of the Mubarak regime was continuing.