Clinton pans Egypt’s ‘disgrace’ to women
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, not pictured, at the State Department in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. AP PhotoClashes between Egyptian security forces and protesters demanding an end to military rule entered their fifth day yesterday, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the beating of women a “disgrace.”
Riot police used rocks, batons and live ammunition to disperse protesters overnight and into the morning, witnesses said, in violence that has left 12 people dead since Dec. 16, according to the health ministry. In Cairo’s Tahrir Square, medics said four people were killed overnight. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim urged security forces and troops to exercise “maximum self-restraint” as he toured the outskirts of Tahrir Square where the worst fighting has taken place.
The SCAF – which took power when a popular uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak in February – denies it ordered the use of force against protesters but admitted troops had beaten a veiled woman after ripping her clothes. A picture showing the woman sprawled on the ground, helmeted troops towering over and kicking her, her stomach bared to reveal her bra, has encapsulated the heavy hand used against protesters and sparked nationwide outrage. An impassioned Clinton on Dec. 19 accused post-revolution Egypt of failing its women as she denounced the stripping and beating of the female protester as “shocking.” In unusually strong language, she accused Egypt’s new leaders of mistreatment of women both on the street and in politics since the revolt that overthrew Mubarak.
“This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonors the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform and is not worthy of a great people,” said Clinton. Female protesters have called for a demonstration in Tahrir Square yesterday to denounce the attacks on women and to call for an immediate end to violence against protesters. Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry released a statement on Dec. 19. expressing deep sorrow and concern over loss of lives and injuries in clashes in Cairo. Turkey would continue to support efforts to conclude the transitional process in a harmonious and peaceful way, the statement said.
Compiled from AFP and AA stories by the Daily News staff.