Despite their much vaunted “neutrality” during the Egyptian Revolution, the Egyptian military actually participated in a number of attacks on civilian protests, including the disappearances of several, as well as torture and summary executions.
That was the conclusion of a preliminary report into the actions of the military during the 2011 revolt, as leaked to media outlets. The report calls for deeper investigations into the military’s commanders to see who was ultimately responsible for the actions.
During the revolution, Egypt’s police were blamed for virtually all the violence in the country, while the military bragged of being neutral, parlaying that into an interim junta after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.
The reality, however, is that military wasn’t nearly so neutral, and regularly moved against pockets of protesters from the moment they first deployed. Many of the disappeared still haven’t been accounted for.
Whether anything will come of this revelation remains to be seen, however. Egypt’s military is not just physically powerful, backed for years by massive US aid, but also controls a large portion of Egypt’s economy. Their leadership has long acted as though they are above the law, and indeed they may prove to be.
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