A video showing military police viciously clubbing a woman, repeatedly kicking her head and then stamping on her semi-naked chest triggered a wave of outrage yesterday and threatening to further inflame three days of bloody clashes in the capital.
The footage, taken during another outbreak of rioting in which at least ten people were killed and 441 injured, shows ten baton-wielding military policemen charging towards fleeing protesters as the army stormed into Tahrir Square early on Saturday afternoon.
Some of the protesters escape, but one woman, who was wearing an Islamic headscarf and what appears to be a traditional black abaya robe, is set upon by the military police and falls to the ground. The video shows her being repeatedly beaten with sticks, kicked in the face and dragged along the asphalt, apparently unconscious.
At one point her bra is revealed – a huge humiliation for any Egyptian woman – before one of the policemen violently stamps on her chest twice.
The incident received wide coverage after a photo of the semi-naked woman was splashed across the front page of yesterday's Al-Tahrir, a liberal Egyptian daily. Alongside a stark red headline reading "Liars", the paper noted how the military had used overwhelming violence against protesters despite denials from the country's new Prime Minister, Kamal el-Ganzouri, that force was being deployed.