ANHRI mourns the victims and demands a speedy handover of power from the Military Council
Cairo, 10 October 2011
ANHRI expresses its deep regret over the assaults of yesterday against the peaceful protesters, killing over 25 people and injuring approximately 200. ANHRI considers the massive attacks on media freedoms and freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the crude incitement by the governmental media against the protesters, a new phase of exploitation of the media as a tool to spread violence and confusion in the country.
Raiding satellite channels
Security forces raided the headquarters of 25 TV and searched it in full, and also searched all journalists and staffers at the channel. In addition to that, they smashed the doors and the glass windows of the place. Afterwards, the security forces stopped the broadcast of the channel, failing to provide any reasons. Hany Hathout, a presenter at 25 TV, said that the security forces looked for the videotape that recorded the events, and also held the team of the channel inside the building.
Simultaneously, the headquarters of Al-Hurra channel was raided as well, for the studios of the two channels are next to each other. Security forces searched Al-Hurra channel in full, this time under the claims of searching for anonymous individuals who rioted in the area around Maspiro.
Incitement is a complete crime
The official media launched a direct sectarian incitement campaign, in the name of protecting the army from the protesters. The official TV reported that the protesters were armed and threw stones at the security forces. Eye witnesses and participants in the demonstrations denied such news.
Elements from the so called “electronic committee” were hired to spread rumors and falsified news that call for chaos and incite against the protesters.
Absence of the rule of law will lead us into the abyss
These events take place in a time when there is no rule of law. The Military Council follows the same policies of the former regime which depend on analgesics, customary meetings and slowdown in the application of law on everyone. Accordingly, some people thought they were above the law, and impunity became a habit for inciters and those implicated in sectarian incidents. The attorney General bears the responsibility for all that, as we only see him on TV, inspecting the site in which the events have taken place, and does not play any effective role afterwards for investigation and bringing the actual perpetrators to justice. Such performance increases the sense of bitterness among the people.
“The Military Council has to shorten the transitional phase and to quickly handover power to an elected civil authority as soon as possible, for all the policies of the Military Council have failed in this critical phase. It has to open an urgent and transparent investigation with those who shot the protesters who took to the streets to peacefully express their opinions, and those who ran over them, and those who incited and concealed the truth in the official media. Still embracing figures of the dissolved National Democratic Party, the official media still shows its ugly face, and has been behaving unprofessionally and non-neutrally in most of the crises since the outbreak of the revolution and until this day” said ANHRI.
“There is no justification whatsoever for a soldier driving an armored vehicle to run over unarmed Egyptian citizens. There is no way out for us at this critical time but to realize the rule of law on everybody equally and without distinction. Everyone who shot fire, incited, or ran over the citizens have to be brought to justice” added ANHRI.