Sexual assaults on the rise in Cairo protests

Cairo, Jan 30 (IANS) Sexual violence against women protesters at Cairo's Tahrir Square appears to be increasing, CNN reported.

Activist group Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault said it intervened in 15 of 19 reported sexual assaults last week, when 10,000 people gathered on the two-year anniversary of the start of the revolution that ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

The organisation said some of the cases involved life-threatening violence where the attackers used knives or other weapons.

It said some group members were also attacked during rescue attempts.

"This phenomenon requires urgent attention and treatment, and is linked to the broader social problem of endemic and daily sexual harassment and assault of women," he group said.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for Egypt President Mohamed Morsy to do something about the assaults and other violence against demonstrators.

"It is unacceptable and a dereliction of duty not to intervene when protesters are being attacked by thugs and when women are being raped and sexually assaulted," Pillay said.

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