An anonymous source at Egypt’s interior ministry has challenged recent claims by an alleged conscript from the ministry’s Central Security Forces (CSF) who stated that he had refused orders to fire on unarmed protesters during last month's Tahrir Square clashes. The ministry source described the man’s allegations as “fake.”
Late last month, a video clip appeared online showing a CSF conscript who said that his name was Ibrahim Fathy Adly. In the clip, Adly claims he had defected from the CSF during the recent clashes in downtown Cairo after seeing unarmed protesters shot down by security forces.
Adly, who had initially stated his name as Ibrahim Hassan Mahmoud – presumably out of fear for his safety – went on to say that he had been beaten by police officers and had only been saved by Tahrir Square protesters. Adly claimed to have been treated at one of the makeshift field hospitals set up in the square at the height of the clashes.
On Monday, the interior ministry issued an official statement about Adly, asserting that he had not, in fact, been among the CSF conscripts who had taken part in the violence.
The ministry went on to state that investigations had revealed that Fahty once served in the CSF in Helwan, but that he had been absent from service since 6 March. The ministry also asserted that Fathy had been dismissed from service on 27 March, meaning that he could not have participated in the recent clashes.
The interior ministry concluded its statement by urging the public to confirm potentially sensitive information before making it public, or to present such information to the public prosecutor so that it might be investigated according to the law.
Several Cairo-based human rights organisations, meanwhile, have filed requests with state prosecutors to put Adly in a witness-protection program, arguing that he represented an important witness to the brutality meted out by the CSF against protesters during the recent five-day confrontation.
At least 40 protesters were killed in last month’s clashes, while hundreds were seriously injured.