Friday, December 23, 2011

Protesters ‘Deserve to Be Thrown Into Hitler’s Ovens,’ Egyptian Military Adviser Says

By ROBERT MACKEY
NYT
december 19, 2011



As my colleague David Kirkpatrick reports, a general from Egypt’s ruling military council insisted on Monday that soldiers had not used force against peaceful protesters after a weekend of such attacks that were “witnessed by journalists, captured on video and broadcast across the Internet and on satellite television.”

But a still more baffling statement was made by a retired general who now serves as an adviser to the military government’s public relations department. In comments published by the Egyptian newspaper Al Shorouk on Monday, the adviser, Gen. Abdel Moneim Kato, said that the protesters who came under attack by soldiers were delinquents “who deserve to be thrown into Hitler’s ovens.”

Strangely, the retired general’s invocation of Nazi Germany came just hours before Egypt’s military rulers claimed to have disrupted a plot to burn down the country’s Parliament building.

Responding to the comments, Mohamed ElBaradei, a leading liberal voice, wrote on Twitter that the retired general had “a deranged and criminal state of mind!” In a second message written in Arabic on the social network, Mr. ElBaradei said, “The likes of Kato belong in jail, not in power.”

An adviser to the military addressing media: “Delinquents should be put in Hitler’s gas chambers”, a deranged and criminal state of mind!

— Mohamed ElBaradei (@ElBaradei) December 19, 2011

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information in Cairo also denounced General Kato, calling him an “official who does not hesitate to declare Nazi opinions that incite hatred and justify violence against citizens he disagrees with.”

Five months ago, a private television channel fired the host of a popular program hours after she sparred with General Kato on the air. During that interview, the general claimed that some of the journalists whose views were aired on the program were “saboteurs,” and said two Egyptian presidential candidates were American agents. When the host asked General Kato if he had any proof to support his assertions, he said that he did not.

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