Warnings and reassurances for Egyptian protesters in SCAF press conference

Ahram Online, Tuesday 12 Jul 2011

At a press conference held early Monday evening, SCAF representatives said the the military council had no intention of using force against protesters, but issued strong warnings against obstruction of state business

SCAF press conference
Maj Gen Mahmoud Hegazy (l) and Maj Gen Mamdouh Shahine at the SCAF press conference Monday Feb 12

The Supreme Military Council “has no intention of using force against the demonstrators so long as they uphold the law,” vowed SCAF member, Maj Gen Mahmoud Hegazy, at a press conference held Monday evening. The press conference came a few hours after Maj. Gen. Mohsen el Fangari delivered an official SCAF statement, in which he directed stern warnings at the protesters, triggering fears of an imminent clamp down.

At the press conference, Hegazy tried to alleviate such fears, going so far as to say that “hints” that SCAF might force against peaceful protesters “hurts the feelings of the armed forces, which took the side of the people from the very beginning.” Hegazy added that the armed forces' commitment to not use violence against the people was intrinsic to Egyptian military doctrine, “our officers are brought up on this doctrine, we are educated in this doctrine,” said Hegazy, who also asserted that the right to hold protest demonstrations was a legitimate one.

It was not all placatory, however, as both Hegazy, and his fellow SCAF representative at the press conference, Maj Gen Mamdouh Shahine, warned that “all options are open” in the event of that elements among the protesters attempted to obstruct the functioning of the state or do harm to the interests of the citizens, in obvious reference to both the blockading of the government administrative building at Tahrir, the Mogamma, and the cutting of the road to Ein el Sokhna by Suez protesters.

Hegazy opened the press conference by saluting the Egyptian people and the Egyptian armed forces, both of which had joined to make a glorious revolution, he said. He said SCAF was committed to realise all the peoples demands, but there were other considerations that had to be taken into account while doing so.

Short link: