CAIRO — An Egyptian civilian court ordered the army on Tuesday to end forced virginity tests on female detainees in military prisons.
The decision comes after one of the abused women filed two suits against the practice, which has caused an uproar among activists and rights groups . One demanded it be banned and the other suit accused an officer of sexual assault.
The virginity test allegations first surfaced after a March 9 rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square that turned violent when men in plainclothes attacked protesters and the army forcefully cleared the square.
Human Rights Watch said seven women were subjected to the tests.Video: Egyptian military offers apology to women (on this page)
An army official was quoted in May as saying the tests were carried out so that the military would not later be accused of having raped the detainees.
A military judicial official said last week that cases of reported forced virginity tests had been transferred to the Supreme Military Court and that military personnel accused of taking part in violent clashes and human rights violations against protesters would be prosecuted.
"We demand that those who committed this act be held accountable," said Basma Zahran, a lawyer from El-Nadim Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence.
The military rulers who replaced deposed President Hosni Mubarak in February have come under mounting pressure from activists who criticize them for mismanaging the transition to civilian rule and violating the human rights of protesters.Video: Woman dragged, beaten by Egyptian soldiers (on this page)
It is the second case in a week where civilian activists have obtained a favorable ruling in cases involving the army.
On Sunday, another civilian judge ordered the release of a prominent blogger whom the army had detained in October on charges of "inciting violence and sabotage" during a protest by Christians.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.