Media Type:

TV Shows


Title

Yasmin El Baramawy speaks about her experience of being sexually assaulted

Subject

TV talk show

Description

Yasmin Baramawy speaks about her ordeal of being gang raped for around 2 hours after attending a protest in Tahrir Square in 2012. This is one of the first times that a survivor of rape speaks publicly and on TV.
Mass sexual assault against women protesters increased after January 2013 and became a major issue for women activists.

Creator

Al-Nahar Mubashar

Publisher

YouTube

Date Published

08/02/2013

Contributor

    Yasmin El Baramawy

Rights

Standard YouTube licence

Language

Arabic

Date Created

08/02/2013

Citation

Al-Nahar Mubashar, “Yasmin El Baramawy speaks about her experience of being sexually assaulted,” Politics, Popular Culture and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, accessed November 30, 2020, https://egyptrevolution2011.ac.uk/items/show/45.

Output Formats


Media

Yasmin El Baramawy.jpg

    Warning! This item contains a testimony of a survivor of rape.

Translation

Yasmin Baramawy (YB): “OK, on the 23 November, I was with a friend at a rally two days after the constitutional announcement, on a Friday at 6 PM. There was gunfire on Kasr el-Aini Street between the protesters and the security forces. I always like going when there are clashes. I do not participate in the violence, but I go and stand at the back and chant. I went with my friend and we got to the end of Kasr el-Aini. We felt some bad vibes and energy and said we wanted to leave. We were only there for five minutes. We turned to leave, there was tear gas at this point, and we suddenly noticed a group of people running away from clashes. Normally if there are people running, we stand our ground and chat ‘stand your ground, don’t run!’ My friend and I did this but then realised they were actually running towards us. It was not a busy spot, but quite empty. So they attacked us, and were ripping at our clothes. I fell to the ground, and my friend ran off. Then a tear gas canister fell directly where we were. This made them run off.
I got up and tried to get back, my clothes were still mostly in one piece. I was going towards Tahrir and my noticed my friend coming back towards me again. She had met someone called Sherif, together they were on their way to come save me. As they were coming, the group of men that attacked me were also returning. My friend started to scream at them, thinking it was just simply a case of harassment […] they pulled me down, my friend fell on top of me and Sherif on top of her. They tried to drag him up but he had my friend in his arms. They then started to choke him with the scarf he was wearing until he had to let her go. They dragged him away and formed a circle around her and another circle around me and I never saw her again. We moved to Mohamed Mahmoud [Street]…”
Mahmoud Saad (MS): “While you were in the circle?”
YB: “Yes, while I was in the circle. They then started to rip my trousers with knives, which also cut into my skin. We fell somehow into the gutter. At this point, I realised that when I’m on the ground I can protect myself a bit better because I’m low down. So, it was a choice of standing and being assaulted, I was holding my trousers with one hand while they had pegged back my other arm. Even when we were in the gutter I still sat down on the ground to protect myself. They would keep pulling me up and I’d bend my knees to get down again. It was a choice of being at the bottom and possible suffocating or being stamped on, but that was better. Most times, they would pick me up from all fours. They then carried me to the back alleys behind Mohamed Mahmoud and…”
MS: “And they’re carrying you just like that…”
YB: “Yes, I was also being pulled around everywhere and lots of people were shouting that they were protecting me…”
MS: “This is exactly what Dr. Manal was saying.”
YB: “Exactly. And you can’t differentiate between those who are assaulting and those who are protecting. I managed to get to a building and knocked on the door, but the doorman wouldn’t let me in. I sometimes had the ability to lean my body in one way or the other because the pulling was equal from all sides […] we also passed through a mosque with all this going on…”
MS: “Through a mosque?!”
YB: “Yes a small one. It had two doors so we passed through it and we got to a place with neon lighting. I realised that it was an electronics store with quite a wide entrance. In this place, there were people of course who were trying to save me but weren’t able to, they were all individual attempts that failed. There was a white car that came, and at this point I was on the floor, so it nearly ran over my head. It did run over my hair and stopped just before my head, my face was actually right next to the tyre. The men were pinning me down and were assaulting me…”
MS: “So throughout all this, there’s assault going on?”
YB: “The assault was going on the entire time…”
MS: “So they’re putting their hands all over you…I’m sorry to be saying this…”
YB: “Yes...I was expecting the car to run over me, but then it reversed. They then picked me up and started to try to kidnap me. They were trying to get me into the car but weren’t able to because of all the pushing and shoving. So they put me on the bonnet of the car and drove on. There were people standing on the car, of course everyone was armed with knives, belts and so on. They were standing on the car and telling people in the street that there was a bomb strapped to me so that no one could try and save me. Some eyewitnesses also said the men were saying I was a Central Security Officer that they had caught. We reached Abdeen…”
MS: “Wow…”
YB: “The residents of Abdeen came, and there was a lady named Ghada who came and said she wanted to see this ‘bomb’ and was able to reach me. The residents of the area came down with large sticks and took me into a shop and got me some clothes to put on”.
MS: “And your clothes at this point were gone?”
YB: “Well my trousers were still there. Look, the whole time, my arms were completely bruised. But I was holding on to my trousers the whole time. My hands never left hold of the trousers. The trousers are fine from the front but ripped at the back by the knives.”
Voice off screen: “And we have the trousers here”
YB: “This is my friend’s blouse. My friend’s story is that they took her…”
MS: “Wait. Let’s see the trousers before your friend’s story, Yasmin”
YB: “These are the trousers […] they’ve been torn by sharp objects here and here. From the front, they’re fine because I was holding on to them the whole time. Whenever I see Mohamed Mahmoud [Street], my hands automatically grab my trousers even if I’m home.
They took my friend and she also feel into the gutter….”
MS: “Show us the blouse, is this yours or your friend’s?”
YB: “No, this is my friend’s.”
MS: “Oh God…”
YB: “And she was no longer wearing trousers, it was just this blouse and her shoes and socks.”
MS: “They’d completely stripped her”
YB: “I guess she had slightly looser trousers on, while mine were a bit tighter so I was able to control them a bit more…”
MS: “So what happened to your friend, the same as you?”
YB: “No, her ordeal was shorter. Mine lasted 70 minutes. My friend passed by the gutter but fell into the actual sewer. They dragged her up from there and then she heard…she was trapped in a corner...the good thing was that she was able to stiffen herself up and she stayed standing, so she knew whereabouts she was. Whereas I was on the ground and was being pulled around. Whenever I got up, we’d be in a different place. So when we got to Abdeen I didn’t know that’s where I was at the time. She knew where the field hospital was and where the alleyways were. She heard someone saying ‘one by one, guys’. She did something very strange, she grabbed one the assaulters and told him “I’m a mother; please protect me and my honour”, she kept begging him until he let her go and started to hit [the men]. She told the man, “let them take me in this direction [the field hospital] and not the other way”. He didn’t understand but did what she wanted and indeed, the crowd started to move towards the hospital. Sherif, her friend, he doesn’t know me, had started tweeting and calling people so there were people searching for us. Apparently, one of the crowd with a weapon asked him “are these women with you? Don’t let them come to Tahrir again” and hit him with the weapon. There was a man I know called Yasser who ran after the car I was in and asked where they were taking me and got the reply that they were going to rape me in Abdeen. But they weren’t using the word [rape]. A lot of people saw the white car and wrote this on Facebook because my statement was on there from the start…”
MS: “So you were on the car bonnet this whole time? You didn’t get into the car?”
YB: “No.”

Duration

10.29

Producer

Unknown

Director

Unknown