Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

23 January 2013

Egypt: Armed Forces Produce Film About Tantawi

The Egyptian armed forces produced a documentary film on Wednesday entitled "Tantawi... a journey of loyalty to Egypt" about the Field Marshal Mohamed Hussien Tantawi. The film was posted on YouTube a few days prior to the second anniversary of the January revolution.

The official spokesman for the armed forces, Ahmed Mohamed Ali, said that the film was displayed in an educational seminar at al-Galaa theatre on the sidelines of celebrating the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled the former president.

The film discusses the biography of Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) that ruled Egypt in the transnational phase; since ousting the former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 until the inauguration of the current President Mohamed Mursi in June 2012.

The film starts with Tantwi's birth in 1935 and goes through his leadership of a battalion in the 6 October war of 1973 (Yom Kippur), the movie also points his service as Military attache in Pakistan up until his appointment as a minister of defence and commander in chief of the armed forces in 1991.

The twelve minutes long film highlights the 'bias of the armed forces towards the angry crowds' during the uprising amid the popular chant then "the people and the army are one".

Some activists have described the isolation of Tantawi from the cabinet following the appointment of a new president as a 'safe exit' since many politicians and political activists have called for his trial for crimes committed by the armed forces during their rule.

The military rule last for a year and four month, during which dozens of protesters were killed. Rights groups accuse Tantawi of being directly involved in the murder of protesters in many of the clashes that occurred in this short time.

"We have warned from the safe exit for the military, which is something the revolution rejects entirely, as we will not rest till we retaliate for the blood of our martyrs," said Ahmed Doma, one of many from the youth activists who share his views in a previous statement to Reuters.

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