The army and the people never were as one

Related peace activists: 
  • Activists tortured and killed by the army, even after Mubarak’s resignation (A study supported with documents)
  • Does the Egyptian Army stand alongside the revolution?

Military arresting an activistMilitary arresting an activistOn 11 February 2011, after the President’s stepping-down speech that was delivered by Omar Suliman (Vice-President of the Republic, and the former head of the Egyptian intelligence), many Egyptians rushed to declaring victory and the completion of the revolution…. I regret having to say the following, mostly because many of those who spoke out are my friends, but people have the right to know the truth. Some people wanted to take advantage of the presence of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to get political positions by making deals with the Supreme Council. They knew that they could not achieve such positions through a regular democratic process. And some of them had connections with the secret service before the revolution, and supported the secret service by default (I don’t want to describe them as the Secret Service’s agents) and some others thought that the army was not a part of the July Military Regime! And people were therefore misled by the army declarations (Press Releases) and have accepted the army’s role in the transitional phase.


Military and protestors in EgyptMilitary and protestors in EgyptIn fact, the revolution has so far managed to get rid of the dictator but not of the dictatorship. A broad sector of the Egyptian political elite, and of the rebels, share this vision with me. One of them is Dr ElBaradei who said in his article concerning the current situation in Egypt: The army is leading the transitional phase in a mysterious and monopolising way”. Many rebels continued to protest against the armed forces having power, calling for a civilian council instead of Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.


As I participated in the revolution since day one, I’ve witnessed the majority of the events. In the following study I will present the evidence and documents which show that the army did not stand alongside the people, not even once during this revolution, and that the army’s conduct was deceptive all the time and that it was protecting its own interests. In order to simplify this study, I’ve divided the Egyptian revolution into three stages that describe the army’s position:


  • The first stage: Before Saturday 29 January 2011 (ie before the army took over the streets);

  • The second stage: From 29 January until the stepping-down speech on 11 February 2011 (14 days);

  • The third stage: After the stepping-down speech (from 12 February until now).

The first stage: Before Saturday 29 January 2011 (ie before the army took over the streets)

The Egyptian revolution started on 25 January 2011, and hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets during the first four days of the revolution; the police forces opposed them with brutality, and killed more than 500 protesters and injured more than 6000. In addition there were 1000 missing, who turned out later to be behind bars in the Ministry of the Interior. So what was the reaction of the army?

1-      1- Sami Annan, the Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Army assured the United States of America that the Egyptian army was loyal to Mubarak and that it would not abandon Mubarak - contrary to what the Tunisian Army had recently done.

In its report about the Egyptian revolution, on 25 January 2011, the US news website “Startfor” (that specialises in intelligence reports) said: “It’s very little coincidence that the Egyptian Army chief of staff is in Washington right now, with the US getting assurances from the Egyptian army that the army will not abandon Mubarak like the Tunisian army did with Ben Ali [Tunisia’s deposed leader].”

Article on ObamaArticle on Obama

« Startfor » did not name the Chief of Staff in its report and therefore we did not get any confirmation that the person mentioned was Sami Anan, until the daily “Al-Masry Al-Youm” mentioned on 30 January 2011 that the Chief Of Staff of the Egyptian Army Sami Annan returned that day from the USA.

* Startfor changed the text after I published the Arabic copy of this research. It had said “It’s not a coincidence”, and they then changed it to “it’s very little coincidence”. So was someone powerful enough to make Startfor change a text written 40 days earlier? Unfortunately, I didn’t take a print of the original version of the “Startfor” text.

The military is shy of photographersThe military is shy of photographers

2-      The army provides the police with live bullets to kill the demonstrators on 28 January
On 28 January, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took the streets to Tahrir Square, after Friday prayers. The police confronted them with tear gas and smoke bombs as well as rubber and live bullets. The battle between demonstrators in Tahrir Square and the police lasted around 10 hours (from 2 pm until about midnight). After 6pm on the Friday evening, the police stationed next to the parliament stopped shooting because they ran out of ammunition. After a few minutes, the protesters saw military policy Jeeps passing through them and heading towards the besieged police forces and then returning again … and after the departure of military police Jeeps, the police forces started firing live bullets at the demonstrators until they ran out of ammunition again. And this is how the same scene was repeated with military police Jeeps passing through demonstrators to provide live ammunition to the police so they could start firing again. At that point, demonstrators realised that the army was not on their side, so they set fire to two Jeeps belonging to the military police and an armoured vehicle belonging to the Armoured Corp of the military, and captured four tanks.

The second stage: From 29 January until the stepping-down speech on 11 February 2011 (14 days)

Since the early hours of Saturday 29 January 2011, after the demonstrators detained some of the army tanks and burnt some military vehicles, the armed forces realised that they wouldn’t want to fight the Egyptian revolutionaries. This is when the armed forces started to change their tone with the demonstrators. The army officers started speaking to the demonstrators, calming them, pacifying them. Hence, a new phase of the relationship between the revolutionaries and the army started - not based on direct clashes, but based on managing the conflict through indirect mechanisms such as the following.


1-      A blockade of the revolutionaries, preventing the demonstrations from leaving El-Tahrir Square in the first few days, especially in the direction of the Ministry of the Interior and the Parliament buildings. However, things got out of control during the last three days of Mubarak's rule before his resignation, and that's when the army accepted the inevitability of the demonstrators marching from the square, based on its policy of not having a direct clash with the revolutionaries.


2-       The continuous threat of using the force::

-          On 30 January, the army tried – for no reason – to let a fire engine into El-Tahrir Square. The demonstrators thought it was going to be used to dispersing them with water hoses, so they stopped it. That was when the army officer inside the fire engine shot twice in the air to frighten the demonstrators.

-          The same attitude happened on 25 February, when a senior officer threatened one of the demonstrators, saying: "I will kill you".


The document leaked from State SecurityThe document leaked from State Security

3-      Passive neutrality: The army made many statements claiming that it would protect the protesters; however the role of the army didn't go beyond making statements. After the second speech of Mubarak at the night of Tuesday 1 February, huge groups of thugs flooded the streets chanting for Mubarak to stay, and the army was still neutral. And during the following two days, on 2 and 3 February, the thugs attacked the demonstrators with camels and horses, resulting in the death of 10 martyrs and the injury of over 1500. The army stood passively neutral and let the thugs and the snipers attack the revolutionaries. The thugs were also allowed to climb the buildings overlooking El-Tahrir Square to throw Molotov cocktails at the demonstrators.

The army was simply mimicking the role of the police days before, letting the thugs attack the demonstrators so they could be guilt-free. The army, I'd say, participated in this attack with its negativity and by ignoring the security and the protection of the citizens.


4-       The involvement of Egyptian Intelligence in an attempt to use some politicians to incite the revolutionaries to leave El-Tahrir Square..One of the documents that was leaked from the state security headquarters in Nasr City, after it was broken into on 5 March, reveals that a major in the armed forces named "Khalid Mohamed Mohsen Sharkawy" visited the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Amr Mousa, asking him to speak to the demonstrators to encourage them to leave El-Tahrir Square - which is what actually happened; Amr Mousa went to the square and asked the demonstrators to accept what Mubarak offered in his second speech. The question is: If the army had really joined the revolution, why did the Intelligence Service try to break it down? And if the Intelligence sector was working against the revolution, why didn't the army put an end to these deviations?

Military and protestors in EgyptMilitary and protestors in Egypt


5-      On 3 February, the military police broke into the offices of Amnesty International and the Hesham Mubarak Centre for Human Rights, and other international human rights centres, confiscating their files, arresting their leaders, and delivering the ones who happened to be there to the thugs to be beaten up!


6-      The military police arrested very many activists, collaborating with the state security and thugson 30 January, Malek Adly was arrested, on3 February the blogger "Sand Monkey" was arrested on his way – with medical equipment – to El-Tahrir square; a few hours later his blog was blocked. On 4 February, Wael Abbas, a blogger, and I were arrested, and on 6 February the blogger Kareem Amer was arrested. Some estimated that the number of demonstrators who got arrested during those two weeks was over 10,000, detained in tens of military detention centres in Cairo and other areas of Egypt - the most important of those being the military prison in the Hike-step area and the Military Intelligence centre in Nasr City in front of Tiba Mall. Those demonstrators told stories after they were released about the torture and killing of many other demonstrators by the officers of the army and the Intelligence, and here are some testimonies:


A-     My personal testimony:: One of the military tanks arrested me on 4 February next to Dar El Qadaa El Aaly (The Supreme Court) on my way to El-Tahrir Square; I was then delivered to the military police, and then to one of the army barracks. And then I was delivered to the military intelligence in Nasr City in front of Tiba Mall. I was beaten up more than once, and sexually harassed, and all day I was listening to the voices of other detained demonstrators screaming out in pain, being tortured (Full details here). On the second day after I was released, my father was punished as well by having his position at work changed.


B-      The report of the "The Guardian, which published a story about demonstrators who were detained and tortured in the Egyptian Museum in El-Tahrir Square. And a testimony of a demonstrator named Ashraf who was arrested on his way to El-Tahrir carrying medical kits, and was then tortured and sexually harassed and threatened with being raped and killed. A third testimony of another demonstrator who was arrested, beaten up, given electric shocks, and then sent to Abdeen Police Station in central Cairo, where he was beaten up for more than half an hour after he entered the police station.


C-      The testimony of "Mohamed Ibrahim El Saeed Ibrahim" that was documented by the blogger "Amira El Tahawy”. Mohamed is a young man from Alexandria who was on his way to visit his mother in hospital, but he was arrested by the army and detained at the "Third Area" military camp. Mohamed and his fellows were subject to torture with whips, metal bars and continuously running water. He was shown on state-run television as one of the thugs that the army arrested. Mohamed was moved to more than one prison, and during his period of detention, many demonstrators were murdered.


D-      The report of Amnesty International that included testimonies of young people who were arrested and tortured by the military police with whips and electric shocks. It also includes the testimony of a young man who was detained and tortured at Nasser Military Academy in Agouza Area, Giza.

A man was tortured by the army. Photo by El-Nadim CenterA man was tortured by the army. Photo by El-Nadim Center
A man was tortured by the army. Photo by El-Nadim Center


E-      The testimony of Kareem Amer, the blogger. Kareem was arrested by the military police on 6 February 2011 by the military police, and he was detained, with colleague Sameer Eshra, at the military prison at the Hike-step area. Kareem wrote, after being released, about the criminal torture in the prison and how the demonstrators were tortured with whips and electric shocks, and regular dousings with water despite the cold weather. And on 10 February 2011, the military prison released 3000 demonstrators on a deserted road, without their clothing, after soaking them with cold water. It was 3am when this happened.


7-      The army tried to invade El-Tahrir Square more than once during the period from 4 to 10 February in order to kick the protesters out. This resulted in many clashes between the protesters and the army; one of those was the clash on the night of 6 February when the troops next to the Egyptian Museum tried to make some progress into the square but were confronted by protesters who made human chains to stop them; so the army shot in the air threatening them, and arrested 3 protesters. We still have no information about those 3 protesters.



Protest in EgyptProtest in Egypt 

Protest in EgyptProtest in EgyptProtest in EgyptProtest in Egypt

Protest in EgyptProtest in EgyptThe third phase: After the stepping-down speech (from February 12 until now)

After the stepping-down speech, the army adopted a media style which conveyed the message that they had joined the revolution - but at the same time they did everything to ensure suppression of the revolution or to at least guarantee that it wouldn’t lead to any extra rights.


1- The military control of the media

The normal job of the Incorporeal Affairs Department of the Egyptian Army is to look after the nation’s morale during war time. Since the coup d’état in 1952, all the armed forces departments changed their former roles. And it’s known that there were investigations of officials in the Intelligence Agency after the 1967 defeat, and Safwat Al-Sherif was among the investigated officers. This was done because of the “sexually immoral deviations” of the Intelligence Service. The Incorporeal Affairs department diverted from its role as well. It became a repressive department, the main role of which was to deceive the nation and control public opinion. When I visited the department in April 2010, the leading officials were bragging about how they were controlling public opinion and directing group and individuals trends.

Army order ban photographyArmy order ban photography

A-      The first thing the Incorporeal Affairs department did was to ban photography in El-Tahrir Square. The aim was to isolate the rebels emotionally from other Egyptian people. So the revolutionaries who were harshly attacked started to feel that they’d been abandoned by their own people. On the other hand, other Egyptians started to wonder why those "other people" were behaving as they were, since they had no idea of how strongly they were being suppressed and attacked.  


 

B-      On 15 February, some officials in the Higher Council conducted a meeting with chief editors of newspapers and media icons and gave clear orders to stop any discussions of Mubarak’s wealth.The council also asked for help in improving the image of policemen. Towards the evening of the same day, Egyptians were shocked to find that all talk shows hosted policemen trying to polish their image and claimed that there were intruders amongst rebels obliging them to use live bullets in self defence.


C-       On 16 February, the army created a page on Facebook, using a very emotional speech trying to draw people to their side and promote support for its lies.


D-      The Incorporeal Affairs (IA) department used its own men working in national newspapers to polish the reputation of government officials.One of the crudest reports, was the one published by the 7th Day newspaper (Al-Youm Al-Sabe3) under the title "Field Marshal Tantawy: the second military governor in the history of Egypt and hero of the three wars"", forgetting that Tantawy was the defence minister during Mubarak’s rule for 20 years, and before this was the chief of the national republic guard for 3 years.


E-      On 26 February, the IA assigned Major-General Tarek El-Mahdi (one of its members) as a general supervisor over the television and radio union,which led to Egypt entering a phase of its media being directed by an army department. On 27 February, Tarek El-Mahdi excluded Mahmoud Saad and interrogated him, in addition to distorting Saad's reputation. This happened after Saad refused to do an interview with Ahmad Shafik (the Prime Minister chosen by Mubarak but rejected by the nation). The funniest thing was that Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, after posting the news about Saad's interrogation, deleted the news feed - this raises the question of what pressure was imposed on the newspaper to ban such a piece of information.


F-      SMSs used to steer the nation. The army forced the mobile companies to send text messages to mobile phones. One of the silliest texts was one saying “we waited for 30 years; there is no harm in waiting for just a little bit more". While the truth is that people have been kept silent by a dictatorship for 59 years, not 30. Egypt has been the prisoner of tyranny since the July coup d’état in 1952, and Mubarak was merely the extension of this system. The army used the text messages to threaten people not to participate in sit-ins. The army even incited people to stand up to the to rebels. Messages like “it is the sit-ins of some people, although conditions are normal, that is stopping us from moving forward", and “it’s the duty of decent patriots to stand in the face of irresponsible individuals". The texts were used, as well, to “sweet talk” people without any tangible improvements, with messages like “we are fully aware of people's needs and working hard to meet their expectations".


2-      Dispersing the Demonstrations by force in Tahrir Square:

Army Officer ordering demonstrators to leaveArmy Officer ordering demonstrators to leave

One day after the president’s declaration that he was resigning, the army started to repeat the same discourse that was used after each of the three presidential speeches. It started by telling the demonstrators: You triumphed and the revolution is over, so, go back to your homes, production should be resumed, etc..


A-     On 12 February, the military police forces intervened by force at night, assisted by some thugs and state security agents. They assaulted the demonstrators, stole some computers from the people’s committees and it was reported that one of the demonstrators died when being beaten.


B-      Starting on 12 February, the army banned photography in Tahrir Square, so that no-one would know about the massive violence committed by the army. On 13 February, while I was in the square, I saw one of the demonstrators carrying a sign that said, “Photography is banned according to army orders”. “Since when do revolutionaries take orders from the army?” I asked him. He replied by complaining about the violence by the army against demonstrators a day earlier, leading to the withdrawal of some demonstrators from the square, so that the army became able to intervene violently with the remaining smaller number of the demonstrators.


C-      On 13 February, the military police battered some people who were protesting in Tahrir Square. Al-Jazeera Channel broadcast a live video of the military police using thick sticks in an attempt to disperse the protesters who were sitting-in.


D-     On 14 February, the violence committed by the army reached a peak. The army succeeded in dispersing all sorts of demonstrations in the square. Tens of injured persons were carried to Qasr Al-Ainy hospital. The military police injured them during forcibly dispersing the demonstrations. Then, the army published a statement in which it warned citizens against demonstrating.


E-      On 16 February, the blogger Wael Abd el Fattah quoted Bothaina Kamel, a reporter, about the violent assault of the military police against a group of youth near Ramsis Central Communication Office.


F-      On 21 February 2011, some people in Suez gathered in front a military area to ask about their children who had been arrested by the army, and were not released even after Mubarak stepped down. The army dispersed them violently. Meanwhile, a tank hit the Egyptian woman I’tidal Ahmed Ghouneim and killed her on the spot. On the following day, one of the army leaders apologised to the demonstrators in front of the same military area and promised to organize a trial of the tank driver. However, did anyone ever hear about the trial of that soldier? And have any of those arrested there ever been released? No one knows.


G-     The army repeated its violence on 25 February, as the army leaders in Tahrir Square refused to allow the establishment of any tents or stages - one of them even threatened to kill the demonstrators (see the video here)

After 7pm, the army cut the electric supply to the square in preparation for what was planned to happen at midnight. After midnight, military police forces aided by Sa’iqa and private forces attacked the demonstrators violently. They battered them with thick iron, wooden sticks, and electrified whips. The demonstrators were forcibly dispersed and many of them were arrested.


o   As regards this last incidence, it is worth mentioning the testimony of the blogger Mohammed Moussa. Mohammed is an activist who participated in the sit-in in front of the Cabinet Building on 25 February. He was arrested and tortured with some other revolutionaries by the military police in the early hours of 26 February. It is interesting that the military police accused the revolutionaries of being paid by foreigners to attack Mubarak. Moreover, the military police officers forced the revolutionaries to yell in support of Mubarak. It is worth mentioning that this took place on 25 February, two weeks after Mubarak left his presidential position!


H-     On the morning of 26 February, the Supreme Military Council posted a statement on its Facebook page stating that the clashes that happened the day before were not intentional, and that no orders were given to carry them out. Were the Sa’iqa and private forces present in the square by mere chance? And why did the army not question the officers who violated military orders?

It was a very deceptive statement. It made no apology, and it stated that the clashes were not intended (ie they were “friendly fire”). It was deceptive also when it gave the day 25 February the name “The Friday of Loyalty”, in spite of the fact that it was a Friday of purifying the system, not of declaring the people’s loyalty to Mubarak. The army deleted this statement after the youth expressed their rage about it on Facebook, and they posted an alternative statement carrying the same number (22) but without mentioning the term Friday of Loyalty. Nevertheless, on Saturday noon, when the army statement was being posted on Facebook, and when the secret intelligence authority agents were copying it and saying that the army apologised, the army was forcibly dispersing a demonstration in Tahrir Square by hitting the demonstrators with thick and electrified sticks.   

 

Friday of Loaylty????


 The amended version of the statement


In this statement the army is lying, because the Supreme Military Council gave orders to release the revolutionaries, why was Amr Al-Behairie sentenced to imprisonment just two days after the release of this statement?


o   It is worth mentioning that the army used the same logic in its treatment of most of the demonstrations in other parts of the country. On 16 February, the armed forces besieged the employees of the manpower offices who were sitting-in in front of the ministry of manpower in Nasr City and attempted to forcibly disperse them. On the same day, the armed forces prevented journalists from entering Mahala Textile Company (to cover the sit-in by its workers), as well as preventing the second shift labourers from joining their fellows inside the company and ordering them to return to their homes. And on 14 February 2011, the armed forces published a statement saying that they will never tolerate any sit-in demonstrations. On 3 March, the military police arrested 20 EBESCO laborers and battered one of them.

 

 

3-      The Army continues to detain and torture activists who participated in the revolution.

Although the armed forces repeatedly pretend to have taken the side of the revolution, they continued to detain and torture activists just like before the revolution, as if nothing had changed.

A-     On 17 February, Al Jazeera news channelbroadcast a report about a young man who had been detained during the days of the revolution, whose torture continued for 4 days after Mubarak had stepped down.

B-      Ahmad El-Sobki's testimony, documented by Eng. Wael Nawara (Secretary-General of Al-Ghad party). Ahmad El-Sobki along with 25 other protesters was arrested in Tahrir Square by the military police on 23 February and tortured by the military by brutal beating and electric shocks to his genitals, and there was molesting of women.

C-      The incidence of torturing Mohammed Saad Ayyad which was exposed by the lawyer Ameer Salem. Mohammed Saad was tortured for several days after Mubarak had stepped down; he was beaten by electric batons and tortured on his genitals. After Amir Salem exposed this, there was an attempt to kill him. So has the regime really changed?

D-     Nadim Center's report published by Al Badeel website on 23 February. Al Nadim uncovered the detention of around 1000 protesters arrested by the police during the first days of the revolution and who were still detained in Al Wadi Al Gadeed prison (without any legal procedures). One day prior to that, the Minister of Interior, Mahmoud Wagdy, (who is supported by the armed forced) declared on TV that there were no detainees who had participated in the revolution. Note that the number of missing people from 28 January was around 1000 protesters, which means that those missing protesters were forcefully detained by the Ministry of Interior with the knowledge and approval of the armed forces. Also worthy of mention is that on 13 February, the armed forces sent a group of officers to Tahrir Square to persuade the protesters to evacuate the square. I told one of the officers that we wanted the release of all detainees; he then told me that the detainees will not be released until we evacuated the square. (This means that the detainees were kept as hostages to get us to evacuate the square.) In fact, the square was evacuated a few days after that, yet the detainees have not yet been released to this day; we fear that the Ministry of the Interior might kill the detainees to erase all trace of its crimes.

E-      Mrs. Ayda Seif El Dawla's testimony (Al Nadim Centre) on some of the previous detainees who were detained again after Mubarak had stepped down. Notice that the lying Minister of the Interior said that he would not sign any detention orders. Does that mean that we have entered a time in which civilian detention is done without even a managerial decision? Mrs Ayda listed the names of the people detained by the past regime who were released then detained again after Mubarak stepped down.

F-      Shorouk newspaper's testimony, 1 March. Shorouk newspaper had received information that confirmed the continued detention of some of the protesters from 25 January in Al Wadi Al Gadeed prison 3 weeks after Mubarak's departure. Again, these protesters were not convicted in court and there were no official orders to detain them. What right does the Ministry of the Interior have to still detain them now?

G-     Arresting Amr Abdullah El Behairy. Amr was one of the activists who took part in the protests on Friday evening 25 February. After midnight, Amr, like all other protesters, was beaten, and the military police finally arrested him. On Sunday, news websites published Amr's picture among a group of protesters and the armed forces claimed he was one of the thugs who were amongst the protesters whom they falsely accused of having weapons. They were taken to court on the Monday, and on Tuesday were sentenced to 5 years in jail. The protesters were tried in a military court without defence or witnesses, and their families were not informed about their case. The armed forces who hadn't had enough from beating the protesters and torturing them in Tahrir Square are also giving activists unjust military trials pretending to the public that they were thugs that they had arrested.

H-     Trial of Nour Hamdi and 19 other activists. Nour Hamdi is a member of the 6 April Youth Movement. He was arrested with several other protesters during the revolution and the armed forces claimed he was a thug and he was trialed on 17 February (six days after Mubarak's departure). Nour has not yet been released, and due to the rapid rate of sentencing in military trials, we suspect that he has also been sentenced to five years in prison. What's ridiculous is that this youth movement that Nour belongs to conducts conversation with the military board and praises it, and has forgotten that one of its members has been unjustly detained by the armed forces.

I-        Mohammed El Sayyed Mohammed's testimony, published by Al Badeel. Mohammed El Sayyed was arrested on 29 January and detained in prison for 18 days, until 16 February, meaning 5 days after Mubarak had stepped down. Mohammed talks about the protesters being tortured and some dying from torture.

- Also in that context, Major Ahmed Ali Shouman was investigated because he had joined the revolution. Ahmed Shouman is an officer in the Egyptian army who decided on 10 February to join the protesters. He turned in his weapon and appeared on Al Jazeera news channel verbally attacking Mubarak and Tantawi, accusing the latter of being a part of the corrupt regime. Major Shouman was reported fort investigation, but the protesters did not stay silent and started many campaigns to support him until the armed forces were forced to stop the investigation. If the Army believes in the legitimacy of the revolution, why then was Major Shouman put under investigation in the first place?

 Army buses waiting for arrested demonstrators

4 - Maintaining repressive institutions, and continuation of torture because of the revolution, even after Mubarak announced his resignation.

After Mubarak stepped down, the army tried to “sweet talk” us, with televised statements about the armed forces having responded to the peoples revolution and having sided with the people. They say that the Military Junta is running the country in a transitional period, for six months only, paving the way for the construction of a democratic civil state, etc. But this is simply bullshit, because their actions contradict their words all the time.

The Armed Forces are still today upholding the state of emergency and the curfew, with no good reason; they also uphold the existence of SSI (State Security Investigations), and the Central Security Service. The interior minister in the caretaker government described these two devices as patriotic Institutions!

For example, The Seventh Day newspaper (Al-Youm Al-Sabe3) reported - on 18 February, a week after Mubarak’s resignation - that: The SSI in Assiut arrested and tortured a young man, and the SSI officer said to his family " You haven`t liberated the country and we are as we are”.

If the armed forces actually want democratisation, why haven’t they abolished the state of emergency state yet? Why do they insist on maintaining these repressive government institutions? Why does repression by these Institutions continue despite the announcement of the ruling military council that they are in support of the revolution, and not a continuation of old regime?

5-      Protection of Mubarak and his corrupted fellows:

For 18 continuous days (the period between 25 January and 11 February), the Egyptian people revolted against Mubarak, and told him leave. During that period, the army said that it stood alongside the revolution and the people. But the army’s actions, as usual, belie those protestations.

A-     In the third statement issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, they said "The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces sends greetings and appreciations to President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak for his work in the cause of the work of the nation in war and peace, and his national position of looking after the highest interest of the homeland". If the army praising the dictator, whom we revolted against, how can we believe that the army is on our side?

B-      The army has vowed not to prosecute Mubarak, his family or his assistants. The army banned the launch of any media campaigns which aimed at offending him in any way (El-Dostor Newspaper 17 / 2 / 2011).

C-      Mubarak still sees himself as a president of Egypt,, and he still exercises his powers as the chairman of the national party.. He traveled to Austria in the presidential jet; there he had been received officially by the Egyptian ambassador in Austria!

D-     The vice-president of the republic Omar Soliman and Prime Minister of the republic, Zakaria Azmy, are present in a suspicious manner inside the presidential palaces, in control of documents which tell the truth about the

E-      The army uses corrupt officials to suppress evidence against them, items have been burned, including in the Central Auditing Agency and other State Institutions. In addition, of course, in most of the headquarters of the SSI, millions of documents have been destroyed under the eyes and ears of the army without any interference.

6- Attempt to circumvent the demands of the revolution

 Although the Army acted as if they joined the revolution, they constantly tried to circumvent the demands of the revolution.

A-     Armed Forces are to this day refusing to end the state of emergency, and still stick to the existence of a curfew; violators of the curfew have been taken for military trial; they still refuse to establish a civilian presidential council to run the country - all those points were amongst the basic demands of the revolution.

B-       Supporting for a long time the Government of Ahmed Shafik (who took office commissioned by Mubarak), and the use of ministers who are an extension of the previous regime - such as Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy, a former director of the Prison Service, who has a long history in the torture of detainees, and such as Mahmoud Latif, Minister of Petroleum in the new government, who is a member of the corrupt Gas Export Company (which Sameh Fahmy, the former Minister of Petroleum, was hated because of), they stick with Maraay and Aboul Gheit who are popularly hated. In addition, of course, the scandal of former education minister Ahmed Zaki Badr, who issues an official order, 15 days after he had officially left the Cabinet. Did the army not know that Badr is continuing in his official ministerial job? Or perhaps the army knew, and were complicit?

C-       The drafting of constitutional amendments to eliminate a revolution. Although the revolution was to bring down the 1971 Constitution, the armed forces rejected the proposal of El-Bastawisy to establish a new constitution, and insisted on amending the 1971 constitution which supports tyranny over the people. If the army recognises the revolution, why stick to a version of the old constitution, which was opposed by the revolution? The committee which drafted the amendments made only marginal adjustments, but did not make a shift to a parliamentary system, and therefore retained most powers in the hands of the President of the Republic, facilitating the way for the arrival of a new person to take up the position and be transformed into a new tyrant. There is no explanation of why they chose such a non-revolutionary committee? Nor of why the committee refused to switch Egypt's system to a more democratic one. Nor why the military insists on having the presidential elections before the parliamentary ones.

7- The army participated in the scenario of the sectarian strife.

Since the early days of the revolution, many central powers in the presidential institution, State Security and the National Democratic Party were trying to portray the revolution as if it were an Islamist revolution and trying to ignite sectarian strife between Muslims and Christians. In this context comes all the conflict that was created around the second amendment in the constitution related to Islamic law; there have been Salafi demonstrations and the campaigns against Christians, then the meetings of the Islamist Society in southern Egypt, then the kidnapping of many Christian girls, amongst them the daughter of a leader of the Omraneyya church, then the assault on churches in northern Sinai and the looting them, then the assault on churches of Rafah and Tahta, and then the assassination of the priest Marcus Dawud in Asyut.

We used to think that the army wasn’t involved in that issue, and we used to think that this problem related to the SSI (State Security Investigations). But the army was directly involved in a number of matters which makes it a partner in causing the sectarian strife, even making us wonder - were the rest of the sectarian events caused by State Security or the army?

A-     The first action was the choice of Tarek Elbeshri to head the Commission to amend the Constitutional. It’s supposed in any amending commission to take into account neutrality, or to include elements of all views. But choosing Tarek Elbeshri, who is known for his belonging to the Islamist current, and choosing Sobhi Saleh, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood Society, was without a logical justification.

B-      The second action, and it’s the clearer one, was represented in the assault on a large group of monasteries - he most famous of them is St Bishoy in Wadi El-Natrun, on 23 February. What can’t be denied is that the monasteries consistently use state lands, but at the same time, Egypt is a state of law, meaning that if a person uses state land the case should be referred to a judge, and the executive authority should force compliance with any judgement over the disputed land. But when military attack the monastery, cracking crosses, demolishing walls, without relying on judicial provisions, and hit monks and visitors to the monastery with live ammunition, and take some of the monks captive, all of that shows that there are leaders in the armed forces who are racist against Christians and want to exploit matters to fuel a sectarian strife between Muslims and Christians.

What’s ridiculous about this is that when the armed forces found that Egyptian people were dealing with problems without generating sectarian conflicts, then military units demolished the Fath mosque in Alexandria, at dawn on Friday 25 February - notice that this happens in Alexandria, where the Salafi presence is strong. So, after all that, can we believe that the army is innocent of the accusation of using sectarian strife as a type of a counter-revolution?

 A Statement in which the army lies and says that he didn't attack st Bishy monastery, so will we believe them, and ignore the videos ?

 Some members of the Supreme Military Council

The most important question: Why didn’t the army shoot the demonstrators?

I think that this question is the most important topic in my research. Many Egyptians were afraid that the Egyptian army would use its heavy armament to suppress the revolution, and we now have the bloody example in Libya. So Egyptians considered that the fact that the army did not commit that crime in our country suggests a bias towards the people - despite the huge difference between both cases. However, the fact that the Egyptian army mostly didn’t use its weapons against protesters has many logical explanations, other than thinking they were on the side of the revolution. I’ll try to summarise some of them here.

1- The army wouldn’t be able to overcome the citizens militarily. What happened with the army on the night of 28 January 2011, when the army supplied the police with live ammunition, was that the protesters burned an armoured vehicle and two army Jeeps, as well as capturing four tanks, so the army realised clearly that using its weapons against the protesters could lead to the loss of equipment, which would fall into the hands of revolutionaries, and would lead to the members of the army siding with the citizens and disobeying orders, Anyone who followed what happened in Libya would notice that this was exactly what happened as a result of using army weapons against citizens.

2- The American instruction: Following what happened on 29 January, while I was on my way to El-Tahrir Square, I saw army tanks on Cairo streets for the first time. What caught my attention from the outset was that all the military vehicles around Cairo’s streets were Russian and German tanks and armoured vehicles, with not a single American-made vehicle at all. After internet connections were restored, I noticed that the military vehicles in Alexandria, Suez and the rest of the governates were all Russian too, and there were no use made of the US’s Abrams tanks. What was strange is that most of the Egyptian military armament is from the US; Egypt has hardly bought any Russian weapons since the 1973 - in other words, the Russian equipment on the streets of Cairo is the same as the Egyptian army fought with 40 years ago! So the question arises: why would the army gets out dilapidated equipment, leaving its best vehicles in the barracks?

The obvious interpretation which springs to mind would be that the army can’t prevent people from taking photographs, and the army doesn’t want photographs of new military pieces in media; but that logic makes little sense, because the modern equipment in the Egyptian army is bought from the United States, according to officially known deals, and any potential enemy knows about it - so there’s no use hiding it.

All of which leads us to the conclusion that the real reason is that there were clear US instructions not to use their weapons during the revolution. Americans certainly didn’t do that because they believed in the Egyptian revolution, but simply because if their weapons were used to suppress civilians, that would be bad for the reputation of US weapons sales and could reduce profits (notice that the US is the biggest exporter of weapons in the world). US weapons were used only once against the Egyptian revolution, on 31 January 2011 when F-16 fighter planes were flown over El-Tahrir Square; the next day US president Barack Obama came out with a statement that Mubarak had to leave immediately.

Those following the background of relations between the Egyptian and US military would well understand that point. The Egyptian army is publicised globally as a US ally. Egypt is also a member of the Mediterranean
Dialogue
of NATO (a kind of associate membership of NATO), and it has joined in exercises under the US and NATO command. The Egyptian army receives US military aid amounting to 1.3 billion dollars annually, and Egyptian military leaders are sent to the United States yearly to be trained with their counterparts. Sami Anan, the chief of staff of the Egyptian army, spends long periods of time in the USA, to the extent that it was a coincidence that he was in America at the time when the revolution erupted. The US wouldn’t want the international reaction against it if an ally army such as the Egyptian’s used their US weapons against unarmed demonstrators. This is the real reason for the choice of military equipment that the Egyptian army used on the streets, and the reason for not using those weapons against the demonstrators.

3- The third reason was that the Egyptian army knew well the consequences of using weapons against civilians.. If you follow the Libyan situation, you see that the natural result of using weapons against peaceful demonstrators is that Muammar Gaddafi and others in the Libyan leadership are having international arrest warrants issued against them by the International Criminal Court; assets and bank accounts abroad have been blocked; and the UN Security Council agreed sanctions against the Libyan regime, authorising a certain level of military intervention. The same scenario could have happened in Egypt if the army had used weapons against demonstrators. So, were the Egyptian army leaders ready to lose their weapons, money and assets and become internationally chased criminals in a homeland in which they won’t be able to protect from a foreign occupation? All of that for Mubarak! Did Mubarak deserve all these sacrifices? Did they know well that they could lose everything if they used live ammunition against us?

All of these points suggest that the army’s use of weapons against demonstrators wasn’t an option, not that they were restrained because they were in favour of the revolution.


Related Topics:

The Story of 2 Days I spent at the Egyptian Intelligence

Selmyya .. Peacefully - Joint Statement considering the Egyptian Revolution

Videos:

(removed from this file)

External Links:

                I noticed that lots of News Websites which wrote about army violations, deleted lots of them some days afterwards. El-Masr Al-Yum deleted tens of topics. El-Dostor changed lots of its published data. I don’t believe that we have an independent media in Egypt.


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