The Paris-based commission said in the statement women who were beaten and sexually harassed while protesting against Egypt's referendum vote of 25 May, have been receiving threats to drop complaints they filed against their alleged aggressors.

The referendum sought popular support for a constitutional amendment suggested by the government and approved by the parliament.

The Commission, which is an international NGO (non-governmental organisation) in special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, considered the alleged attacks on protesters an "insult to human rights and Arab and Islamic values".

The statement urged "all honourable men and women in the Arab homeland" to support the victims and put an end to such "barbarian practices".

Appeal

The statement included an appeal by Shaima Abu al-Khair, one of the women who were allegedly harassed at the proest march.

"I am speaking here in my personal capacity and in the name of all women who were beaten and insulted on black Wednesday – the referendum day- …. That we are under pressure from the Egyptian government, and direct threat from the Ministry of Interior," she said.

"We have been threatened with arrest, kidnapping, or fabricated charges against us and our family members."

"We have been watched and surveyed by security authorities since the day of harassment and such surveillance is a clear violation to law," Abu al-Khair said.

She claimed in her appeal that other harassed protesters had reported similar pressure from the government and security authorities.

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior, however, denied the allegations levelled by the pro-reform activists and opposition members.