Government Fact-Finding

January 25 Revolution

Established by:

Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq

Mandate

To collect facts about the events around the January 25 Revolution; to analyze and categorize these facts; to determine the number of persons who died and the causes of their deaths; to determine the numbers of those wounded, injured, and detained as a result of these events; and to refer the report of this fact-finding committee to the prosecutor-general for appropriate action.

Methodology

To communicate with all government entities to receive relevant documents and information; to receive submissions of relevant audio, visual, and written materials; to accept live interviews from those present firsthand and/or the families of victims and injured persons; and to conduct field visits. The fact-finding committee also had a working, accessible website, publicly available phone numbers and email addresses, a public physical address, and a social media presence (on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube).

Named Members

Adel Qora, Muhammad Amin al-Mahdy, Dr. Iskander Ghattas, Dr. Muhammad Badran, and Dr. Nagwa Khalil.

Findings

Throughout its work, the fact-finding committee issued seven public press releases and a 53-page summary of its final report. In its press releases, the committee communicated some of the activities it had pursued, urged individuals and members of civil society to provide information and participate in the fact-finding process, and clarified the mandate of the committee.

The final report was sent to the prosecutor-general for relevant follow-up.

  • In its report summary, the fact-finding committee found that police officers used live ammunition and birdshot on peaceful protesters and intentionally hit protesters with their vehicles; snipers were deployed and at one point, police were ordered off the streets in order to sow chaos.
  • Additionally, the report concluded that a number of National Democratic Party (NDP) officials were implicated in the “Battle of the Camel.” The fact-finding committee concluded that as of February 16, 2011, at least 846 peaceful protesters had been killed and at least 6,467 injured. The fact-finding committee also investigated events of unrest and escape in five prisons where tear gas and the use of live ammunition were documented. The committee also criticized the role of government-owned media in the degree to which outlets blamed the protesters for the security vacuum, prison escapes, and more.

Recommendations

The fact-finding committee made a number of recommendations, among them:

  • the issuing of a new constitution;
  • the revision of laws which constrain the freedoms of citizens;
  • the drafting of fact-finding legislation; and
  • steps to guarantee compensation for the families of those killed and injured.

Analysis

The summary of the fact-finding committee’s report revealed no major surprises, as it substantiated much of what social media and traditional media users had learned of the events around the January 25 Revolution. Although the committee’s report summary did not always assign clear responsibility for acts, it did imply that the Ministry of Interior, former president Hosni Mubarak, and various members of the NDP were implicated in various events. The fact-finding committee’s report was not conclusive on the matter of the prison escapes, instead furthering possible theories. On this note, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has criticized the committee’s report summary for failing to look into events occurring at prisons other than the five detention facilities listed in the report.

Overall, however, the fact-finding committee’s recommendations are significant, as they uphold and reiterate many of the demands of the participants of the January 25 Revolution. Additionally, the fact-finding committee’s accessibility via email, physical address, phone numbers, and social media, is commendable and unprecedented among Egyptian fact-finding initiatives.

Report

The report summary is available here. A full copy of the report was never made publicly available.