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Field Marshal Tantawi orders military prosecutors to investigate 'brutality'

Amid accusations of human rights violations, Egypt's de facto ruler directs army to look into 'media allegations'; calls upon citizens to report any incidents to military prosecutors

Zeinab El Gundy, Friday 30 Dec 2011
Egyptian army soldiers
Egyptian army soldiers arrest a woman protester during clashes with military police near Cairo's downtown Tahrir Square (Photo: AP)

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), has ordered the military prosecution to investigate what he describes as “media allegations.” The allegations relate to the use of extreme violence by military and police forces during the recent clashes in Tahrir Square in the wake of the crackdown on the sit-in outside the Cabinet.

SCAF also called upon citizens to report any violations committed by army or police personnel to the military prosecution in order to undergo investigation, while at the same time cautioning against rumours that aim to turn the people against the army and police.

Human rights organisations and activists, along with several media outlets, have raised concerns of human rights violations regarding the treatment of protesters. They have reported mistreatment of street children detainees and hospitalised protesters being handcuffed despite critical medical conditions.

A group of activists recently launched a media campaign called Kazeboon (Liars) across Cairo and other governorates focusing on brutality committed by security forces. The group takes its name from the front page of Tahrir newspaper featuring the now iconic picture of a woman being stripped and beaten by military police in Tahrir Square, alongside the word “Liars.”

One of the main activities of the group is showing the violations of army and police officers during the recent clashes through photos and video clips projected on large screens in public areas. Other groups such as Mosireen (Determined) made up of young film makers have also been showing and distributing footage of security violations and torture testimonies.

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