According to CNN, an Egyptian general said the military had conducted the tests, confirming reports by rights group Amnesty International in March. The CNN report prompted activists to call for protests to condemn the action.
The military official, who was not named, called on media “to practice precision before publishing these accusations, and tarnishing the name of the armed forces with such accusations that seek to cause a rift between the army and the people”.
Rights groups said at least 18 women were arrested on March 9, when army officers forcibly cleared Tahrir Square in Cairo, centre of the protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
Amnesty said some of those detained said the abuse included forced “virginity tests”, beatings, electric shocks and strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers.
Dozens of demonstrators, mostly young men and women, gathered in Cairo later on Wednesday to condemn the treatment.
The demonstrators stood outside the entrance of Galaa theatre, where the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, which has ruled Egypt since Mubarak was ousted in February, was hosting a meeting with representatives of different youth movements.
Some of the demonstrators carried banners that read “Our dignity is a red line”. Reuters