Mona Eltahawy, a prominent U.S.-based Egyptian journalist, reported that she was detained, beaten, and sexually assaulted by Egyptian security forces Wednesday night while reporting on the protests that have gripped Cairo over the past week.
On Thursday morning, Eltahawy began describing her ordeal in a series of tweets on her Twitter account.
She reported that she had been been detained for 12 hours by the interior ministry and military intelligence, during which time she was sexually assaulted by five or six men. "5 or 6 surrounded me, groped and prodded my breasts, grabbed my genital area and I lost count how many hands tried to get into my trousers," she tweeted.
She spent hours blindfolded before finally being released with an apology from military intelligence but no explanation for why she was detained.
"The past 12 hrs were painful and surreal but I know I got off much much easier than so many other Egyptians," she wrote.
A representative of the U.S. embassy in Cairo told The Guardian that Eltahawy's detention was "very concerning" and that "U.S. embassy consulate officers are engaging Egyptian authorities."
Eltahawy is a freelance journalist based in New York who has written for such publications as The Guardian, The Washington Post, and the International Herald Tribune. She has also blogged for The Huffington Post.