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Originally published Friday, March 29, 2013 at 8:56 AM

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White House condemns sexual violence in Egypt

The White House is condemning reports of sexual violence against women at anti-government protests in Egypt and urging law enforcement to protect them.

The Associated Press

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ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE —

The White House is condemning reports of sexual violence against women at anti-government protests in Egypt and urging law enforcement to protect them.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest condemned the suggestion from ultraconservative Islamists that women invite assault by attending demonstrations with men. Earnest told reporters traveling with President Barack Obama to Florida Friday those views are "abhorrent," and the United States reaffirms the right of women to express themselves in public squares alongside men.

Protests against Egypt's government led by the Muslim Brotherhood have been growing more violent, with sexual assaults increasingly reported in recent months.

Earnest says the Egyptian government has a responsibility to prevent the attacks and prosecute those who are involved.

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