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Mar 11, 2012
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Egyptian Presidential Candidate Buthaina Kamel: As President, "My First Step Will Be to Place the Killers of the Rebels on Trial"

#3363 | 09:01
Source: Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)LTB TV (Egypt)Al-Nahar TV (Egypt)

Following are excerpts from several interviews with Egyptian presidential candidate Buthaina Kamel, which aired on various TV channels on March 11, 2012 :

Al-Arabiya TV:

Buthaina Kamel : I consider myself to be the voice of the revolution. As far as I am concerned, the revolution is still ongoing, and I believe it to be, first and foremost, a revolution of moral values. I will be true to myself. If someone says to me: "If you want our support, wear the hijab" – I will not say or do anything I do not believe in. The Egyptian constitution does not contradict Islamic shari'a.

Interviewer : That is my question. Do you support the proposal for a civil state with a religious source of authority – a state in which Islamic shari'a is the main source for legislation?

Buthaina Kamel : Egypt is a country with a Muslim majority, and I believe that all the monotheistic religions subscribe to the same values: truth, justice, equality, and well-being. There is no disagreement about these. Some people, however, like to cause disputes. A blind MP said something I liked: Rights before [Islamic] punishments.

Interviewer : So you do not support a civil state with a religious source of authority?

Buthaina Kamel : I support a civil state, and I don't believe Islam calls for a religious state.


Interviewer : Against the backdrop of the discussion about women and the situation in Egypt, a woman you surely know, Minister Faiza Abu el Naga, who is considered the driving force behind NGO issue…

Buthaina Kamel : She is considered the spiritual daughter of the SCAF [Supreme Council of the Armed Forces].

Interviewer : Well, that's your opinion. She was the driving force behind the case against the NGO's. Do you support her in this case?

Buthaina Kamel : Of course not.

Interviewer : Why?

Buthaina Kamel : Because this was entrapment. This is an artificially contrived case. The NGO's have been around for years…

Interviewer : But they were not licensed…

Buthaina Kamel : This is both funny and sad. You should know what goes on in our Arab countries. These NGO's were given permits to monitor the elections.


Interviewer : Are you saying that the rebels have not committed any mistakes whatsoever?

Buthaina Kamel : The rebels are human beings, and there is something else we should bear in mind. With all the oppression and frustration… You can place anyone on trial, except for the killers of the rebels. Unless people receive what they are legally entitled to, I fear that violence will erupt. I fear that a revolution of the hungry will erupt…

Interviewer : You were quoted as saying that you expect a bloody revolution. The revolution of the hungry has already begun in Egypt.


Is it safe to say that one of the mistakes of the rebels – as Nawal Sa'dawi said on this show – was that they should have established a revolutionary council in

Tahrir Square
, instead of accepting the interim rule of the military? Do you agree with her?

Buthaina Kamel : There is no such thing as "what if." What do you do in practice is the result of your experience. This was the job of the revolution leaders, the elite. But from day one, the elite sold us out, one way or another, and entered negotiations with Omar Suleiman, former head of intelligence.



Buthaina Kamel : The international community does not know enough about the military trials of civilians. I talked [in Michigan] about the unjust military trials of civilians. I told them that throughout the rule of Mubarak, only 3,000 civilians face military tribunals, whereas in the first six months after the revolution, 12,000 military trials of civilians were held, and by now, the figure is probably much higher.


Al-Nahar TV:

Buthaina Kamel : In April 2011, when I was still a naïve young woman, who believed that we had actually carried out a revolution, I had big dreams about change, and in Tahrir Square, you could see signs I wrote myself. Life seemed simple back then, and I was hoping I could run a campaign that could culminate in a victory.

Day by day, however, with the torturing of the rebels, the demonization of the revolution, the accusations of collaborations of collaboration and many other accusations, the virginity tests, the Port Said massacre, and the massacres in Maspero, in Muhammad Mahmoud Street, and across from the government building, and the cases of women who were stripped naked – no, that's it. We realize that we began the revolution, but the actual revolution is yet to come.

Interviewer : A revolution against whom? We have an elected parliament, and soon we will have an elected president.

Buthaina Kamel : It will come to accomplish the demands of the revolution.

Interviewer : But against whom?

Buthaina Kamel : Against the regime. The regime has not changed.


I am running for president in order to expose them all for what they are. Don't ask me who – those who rule, those who legislate, and those who carry out [the orders]. The whole bunch.


Interviewer : Were you disappointed by the exoneration [in the case of the virginity tests]?

Buthaina Kamel : It depressed me. Depressed me. It depressed me, but no rights are ever lost. Our rulers have mastered the art of crafting their crimes in a way that is difficult for us to prove. But at the same time, they have exposed themselves before the people, in a way that they will not be able to deny. This was the military court's opportunity to amend its image, but instead, it prepared the ground for…

Interviewer : Do you have a plan B?

Buthaina Kamel : Of course.

Interviewer : Like taking the case to international forums?

Buthaina Kamel : We will persecute them all the way to their graves. Everything they did to us constitutes crimes against humanity.


We will pursue this all the way to the end. I'd like to say to Samira [Ibrahim, who filed the complaint about virginity tests]: If I am depressed, I am certain that you, my daughter, must be devastated. You might feel defeated, but I say to you: No. We will be victorious, Samira. Be strong, because truth is on your side.


There is determination to bring this country down.

Interviewer : Who is determined?

Buthaina Kamel : The military council.


The image of Egypt is being destroyed by the SCAF. When you show a picture of your soldiers standing on the government building and urinating on the Egyptians – who is destroying the image of the Egyptian army? When newscaster Rasha Magdui was encouraged by the powers-that-be to call upon people to come to defend the army from the Copts – who is it that wants to set the country ablaze?


They definitely do not have an interest in having a real president. This way they avoid standing trial.

Interviewer : If a real president is elected, he will place SCAF members on trial?

Buthaina Kamel : Of course. Who brought in the members of the SCAF? Wasn't it Fieldmarshal Tantawi? He was commander of the republican guard for 10 years. Then he was Mubarak's defense minister for 30 years. He was with him all the time. All these commanders… Who is responsible for all the crimes?

Interviewer : If you are elected president…

Buthaina Kamel : My first step will be to place the killers of the rebels on trial.


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