4.04.2010 kl 18:48 fra War Resisters' International <info@ wri-irg.org>

Egyptian Army role in revolution challenged in new Report.

Its author, Maikel Nabil Sanad, arrested after publicizing his findings on the net.

Below is a summary of some of the main findings of his report. For the full report go to the War Resisters International website at: www.wri-irg.org

Note: Maikel Nabil Sanad, 25, lives in Cairo, and is a political activist and blogger. In April 2009 he founded the "No to Compulsory Military Service Movement". As a pacifist, he declared his conscientious objection to military service and demanded to be exempted from it. He was arrested on 12 November 2010, by military police, but released two days later, and finally exempted from military service on medical grounds. He participated in the Tahrir demonstrations from the start.

Following the publication of his report on line, he was arrested on 10 March 2011 by military police. According to his lawyer, Mr Haithem Muhammaden from the El Nadeem Centre, Maikel Nabil Sanad and detained pending an investigation on charges of "insulting the military institution and publishing false news about it" and "disturbing the public security.


The Egyptian army did not at any point side with the protesters. They supplied live ammunition to police attempting to suppress the demonstrations, were involved in the arrest, detention and even torture of protesters both before and after the departure of Mubarak, and are seeking by various means to suppress or limit the scope of the revolution. Many people are continuing to protest, calling for a civilian council instead of the Supreme Council of the Armed forces.

The report identifies three stages in the revolution:

Stage 1: from the beginning of the demonstrations on 25 January 2011 until the army took over the streets on 29 January

The Egyptian revolution started on 25 January, 2011 when tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets. During the first four days of the revolution, the police forces brutally confronted the protesters, killing more than 500 of them and injuring over 6000. Another thousand are missing. What was the reaction of the army?

  1. Sami Annan, the Chief of Staff of the Egyptian army visited the USA to assure the Obama administration that the Egyptian army remained loyal to Mubarak and it would not abandon him. (See full text for the evidence of this gleaned from the US news agency Startfor and the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm.)
  2. The army provided the police with bullets to kill the demonstrators. On 28 January, the police used tear gas, smoke bombs and rubber and live bullets to attack the tens of thousands of demonstrators who had occupied Tahrir Square. When the police ran out of ammunition, military jeeps moved through the crowds to supply the police with live bullets which they fired at the protesters. The military police intervened in this way a second time when the police again ran out of ammunition. In response the crowd set fire to two army jeeps, an armored vehicle belonging to the Armored Corps, and captured four tanks.

Stage 2: From 29 January until Mubarak announced he was stepping down on 11 February


From the early hours of Saturday 29th of January 2011, and after the demonstrators detained some of the tanks and burnt several jeeps the armed forces began to change tactics. Officers started speaking to the demonstrators, calming them, pacifying them. However, the new phase of the relation between the protesters and the army was based on managing the conflict through indirect mechanisms such as:





Stage 3: After Mubarak stepped down -From February 12 until the report was written in late March


After Mubarak announced he was stepping down, the army used the media to convey the message that it had joined the revolution, whilst doing everything to ensure its suppression, or at least hindering its progress. Among the steps taken were:





The report goes on to cite further instances of attacks by the army on demonstrators since the departure of Mubarak, and provides more testimonies of arrests, detentions and torture. It points out that the armed forces continue to enforce a curfew, and refuse to end the state of emergency. It concludes that although the army claims to have joined the revolution, it constantly tries to circumvent its demands and could exercise an undue influence on the provisions of the new constitution.


Andreas Speck, War Resisters' International (in Cairo)
Mobile: +44 (0)79-7368 3936

Javier Garate, War Resisters' International (in London)

War Resisters' International office
Tel +44 (0)20-7278 4040


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