A retired Egyptian general who advises the ruling Military Council's Morale Affairs Department told a local newspaper that protesters fighting with soldiers “deserved to be thrown into Hitler’s ovens.”
On Monday Egyptian newspaper Al Shorouk reported that in an attempt to justify the military's use of force against protesters during clashes that broke out around the cabinet building on Saturday, Gen. Abdel Moneim Kato suggested that instead of worrying about the country's welfare, people were concerned about "some street bully" – referring to the protesters. Eleven people were killed in the clashes.
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Clashes in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
Egyptian politicians and pro-democracy activists leveled harsh criticism at Kato. Egyptian diplomat and former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei wrote on Twitter that the retired general had “a deranged and criminal state of mind," adding that "the likes of Kato should be in prison, not in power."
Other Twitter users also criticized Kato. "One strong example of why the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces should not remain in power is that they are stupid enough to appoint someone like Kato as an adviser to the Morale Affairs Department," one of them wrote.
Abdallah al-Sennawy, chief editor of Al-Arabi Al-Nassery Magazine, said Kato's statements are grounds for referral to the International Criminal Court.
Addressing cabinet ministers, the retired general also criticized the media's coverage of the clashes, saying, "Media always ignore the root of a problem."
"When did those soldiers use violence?” he asked. "When (the protesters) attempted to burn Parliament and the Scientific Institute."
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