OpEdNews Op Eds

Egypt: What Else is the Army Not Doing?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 5/2/11

Become a Fan
  (11 fans)

Over the weekend, as I was writing a piece about the failure of the Egyptian Army to put a stop to former President Mubarak's grisly practice of arresting people on the flimsiest grounds and then proceeding to detain, torture and abuse them, I was reminded of a couple of other big things the Army isn't being helpful about.

One of them is press freedom. The other is labor unions. In the former, the interim military government is proposing new regulations that will give journalists less freedom, not more. And in the struggle of working people to morph from pathetic "company unions" to free and independent 21st century unions, the Army seems to be a significant obstacle.

When the Army first weighed in on press freedom, I was cautiously hopeful.
Here what the Supreme Council said:

"Maintaining the council's policy to communicate with the Egyptian population and the youths of the revolution these days to spread the truths and reply to rumors that may harm the revolt's achievements and cause strife between the Egyptian people and the Armed Forces, the council stresses on the following:

"1- Since the beginning of the January 25 Revolution, the Supreme Council has been keen not to interfere in the editorial policies of all kinds of media.

"2- The media in Egypt is absolutely free to publish or discuss any matter and assume responsibility for the consequences of its coverage based on its credibility.

"3- All statements issued by the Supreme Council are made without the hiding of any facts as the council believes in the importance of spreading truths as soon as possible.

"4- The ultimate goal of the Supreme Council and the Egyptian people 
nowadays is to support all kinds of Egyptian media to restore its vital 
role that made the most powerful impact on our Arab and Islamic nation a while back."

Well, that was encouraging. Restoring the press's "vital role."

Until I learned that the Army (which is ruling Egypt until elections can be held) has issued orders that require local print media to obtain government approval, before publication, for any reference to Egypt's armed forces.

A letter sent to editors by the director of the "morale affairs directorate" of the Egyptian military ordered them not to "publish any (topics, news,
statements, complaints, advertisements, pictures) pertaining to the armed forces or to commanders of the armed forces without first consulting with the Morale Affairs Directorate and the Directorate of Military Intelligence and Information Gathering."

Sound familiar? That letter could have been signed by Hosni Mubarak!!

According to Britain's Guardian newspaper, the letter's content has not been reported in Egyptian publications, but "the regime of censorship has been noted by bloggers."

There is nothing theoretical about the Army's intentions. Witness the military court in Cairo sentencing blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad to three years in prison for "insulting the military." His crime: Writing an article in which he criticized the military for not being transparent in its decision-making.

And what was he doing in a military court? He was there because he wrote about the military.

Sanad, 25, was sentenced after participating in a hearing on his case that left the defendant and his lawyer believing the case would be continued later.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3



William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Silence of the Sheep

Liberties Lost Since 9/11

Law Professors Outraged by Senate Vote on Indefinite Detention


Feel Safer Now?

The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable -- A Must-Read.


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
The Egyptian Army, which is ruling the country unt... by WILLIAM FISHER on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 11:45:27 AM