In a press interview with me to a European newspaper, the following day of Mubarak’s fall, I said that I trust that the military council would keep its promise and lead Egypt towards democracy... Of course, that was a rare speech by me, it wasn’t out of fear or flattering for sure, but based upon information which was reaching us internally and externally saying that we have a man within the military council that many make a bet on. Also, that man’s existence in that position is a guarantee that we are heading to the correct path... But, days passed and we saw you appear scarcely and rarely reacting, we found ourselves in confrontation with a group of radicals; we found them beating us, threatening us, disseminating rumors against us, force disgraceful tests to our sisters and try our friends before sham trials. So, we rushed toward them in a confrontation – I am honored to be one of its victims – and it’s the confrontation which didn’t end up till now and no one knows how will it end.
Here, from my confinement, I follow statements of members of the military council which say that the army didn’t arrest anyone from his home and that there is a respect for freedom of opinion and expression... All these statements reflect an obvious meaning, that the military council realizes that my situation is not natural and not acceptable, also can’t be defended or repeated.
From its first statement, the military council perseverated starting from its first statement stating that it wants the transition of Egypt to democracy... But, your excellency, Lieutenant General, the democratic regimes don’t throw their opponents to jails. Democratic countries do not imprison citizens because of their opinions or beliefs. Democratic countries don’t have someone to force his mandate on citizens to decide for them what to say and what not to say.
All democratic countries didn’t act in embarrassment in negotiating peace proponents and opponent groups to compulsory recruitment. In all these countries, the deluge reached a situation which was in the interest of their homelands. Of course Egypt wasn’t a democratic country before 25 January revolution, so, is the army now ready to act like the armies of democratic countries do and start a serious dialog with virtuous Egyptians who disagree with it in envisioning what is best for their homelands which they love.
One needs no great intelligence to realize that the reputation of the Egyptian army between their citizens now reached its minimum levels for more than 6 decades, and that the love of Egyptians for their national army is decreasing each day more than its predecessor. No argument about the Egyptian army’s important role in protecting the borders of the homeland, as well as, its interests and its citizens, but if the appreciation of the people toward their army continued to deteriorate in the future, will the army protect people who averse it? How would you protect people who chant for your fall?
For all of these reasons I invite your excellency to start a new initiative with the reasonable people between members of the military council to fix the faulty situations which prevailed for the past six months and to stop the severe bleeding of the trust of our people in its national army. I invite you to release from captivity all revolutionaries (civilians and militarists). I invite you to adopt a national dialog initiative between the army and who disagree with it for the interest of Egypt, a purposeful dialog and not to earn some time and contain the other party. I invite you to adopt a bigger role within the military council to steer the country towards democracy and the civilian country, towards achieving the rest of the stages of the revolution, to build a state of understanding between the different societal groups of the nation, based on that Egypt is the homeland for all of us and that no one has the right to monopolize determining its identity or the relationship between its different elements.
With profound respect
Maikel Nabil Sanad Ebrahim
A pacifist activist and the chief of No for Compulsory Military Recruitment Movement
and the first prisoner of conscience after the revolution
1 August, 2011
El-Marg general prison