United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued a strong statement against sexual violence in the Arab Middle East and northern Africa.
Clinton spoke last last week to reporters about attacks that violate “basic human dignity,” such as rape, sexual harassment and “virginity tests.” She praised the “brave women” of Libya who had found the courage to speak of the rapes and other brutality they had suffered from the forces of dictator Muammar Qadaffi.
Clinton called for an investigation of the attacks, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
In Gaza, women have suffered increasing sexual violence since June 2007, when the ruling Hamas terrorist organization wrested control of the region in a Palestinian Authority militia war with the rival Fatah faction.
CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was sexually assaulted by an Egyptian mob in Tahrir Square in February during the Arab Spring revolution that toppled the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak.
Logan was flown out of Cairo by a network-chartered jet to a U.S. hospital hours after the attack under the veil of a total news blackout on the incident.
Sexual assault is also not uncommon in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where it is considered part and parcel of basic torture procedures for interrogation of both female and male protesters.