The attack was captured on video. Warning: it is VERY disturbing.
From the Atlantic:
“there is something especially barbaric about this photo. The taboo of violence against unarmed women is unusually strong in the Arab world. But to watch three soldiers beat a defenseless woman with batons, their fists, and for one extraordinarily cruel soldier with his boot, is not even the most provocative part. For these men to pull her black abaya above her head and expose her midriff and chest is, for Egypt, a profound and sexually charged humiliation.”
The author makes several illegitimate attempts to give the soldiers the benefit of the doubt, and his insistence that “the taboo of violence against unarmed women is unusually strong in the Arab world” rings pretty fucking hollow when describing a culture that regularly sexually assaults, honor kills, and gang rapes innocent unarmed women every god damned day.
(h/t Texas Tigress and Miq2xu)