An Egyptian military doctor has been acquitted of charges of forcing female protesters to undergo virginity tests.
"I've been vilified by the media. Only one side was represented and I couldn't say anything because I was a conscript. The plaintiff's allegations are nonsense. I'd been waiting for this fair verdict," said Ahmed Adel the doctor accused of conducting forced virginity tests on seven female protesters rounded up by the military last year.
Seventeen women said they had been violated while in military custody after rallies held last March. A YouTube video by plaintiff Samira Ibrahim went viral when she alleged that women arrested during last year's uprising in Egypt were violated and humiliated by male soldiers and prosecutors who performed "checks" to see if the women were prostitutes.
A judge on Sunday said that there was insufficient evidence to prove a case. Witnesses with the Egyptian military insist that the judge was under no pressure. Human Rights Watch says this is not the case, and that three military officers had admitted to the organization that virginity tests were conducted to avoid allegations of rape by soldiers. Spokeswoman Heba Morayef said that the military is giving conflicting information to the public, and that there are torture complaints against the military that have not been looked into. She said that it is only because of public pressure that the "virginity test" case ever went to trial.
Activists say that the ruling military council has had an ongoing lack of accountability ever since Hosni Mubarak was removed from power. They say that it is time for a civilian leadership.
Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh was one of the few journalists in court to hear the ruling: