Egypt's Chief of Staff challenges rights groups to furnish proof of torture

Ahram Online, Monday 1 Aug 2011

In a talk with intellectuals on political alliances, stability and trials, a member of Egypt's ruling military and member of ruling military council denies they have any detainees at all and asks for proof

General Sami Anan
General Sami Anan

In a meeting with Egyptian intellectuals Sunday night, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces member and Chief of Staff General Sami Anan acknowledged that the council is currently facing several challenges; most importantly the lack of security and economic crisis.

General Anan assured the intellectuals that the minister of interior was doing his best to restore order in the country, adding that if there is no security in the country there will be no stability.

He also warned of deteriorating economic conditions as a result of the lack of security. In the same breath he said that it was important to fulfil the demands of the citizens, and demanded a halt to the strikes, blockage of highways and roads and disruption of work in governmental institutions.

The Chief of Staff criticised the media; specifically some TV channels and accused them of encouraging sedition among citizens. Anan clarified that the council does not have a problem with criticism, but he considers the media’s coverage as divisive for the society.

Anan denied the rumours about having a political deal with the Muslim brotherhood or any other Islamist or political group in Egypt. 

The chief of staff said the military council was adopting a roadmap that put the parliamentary elections first, in September as they were scheduled; then finalising the constitution; followed by a presidential elections. 

According to Anan, there is no disagreement between the prime minister and SCAF, and the prime minister was given full powers in his latest Cabinet reshuffle.

General Anan denied the allegations that the armed forces are torturing detainees, or that they even have detainees at all; demanding someone prove it and insisted that only thugs are tried in military courts. 

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