Egypt junta joins Facebook revolution
CAIRO - Egypt's new military rulers have launched their own Facebook page to better communicate with the youth who used the social networking site to organise protests that drove Hosni Mubarak from power.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces dedicated the page "to the sons and youth of Egypt who ignited the January 25 revolution and to its martyrs."
It said the page was established by the head of the council, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who felt that "fruitful cooperation in the coming period with the honourable sons of Egypt would lead to stability and security."
The military council emphasised it did not have any "political aspirations" and was still committed to a democratic transition to civilian rule, nearly a week after Mubarak stepped down following 30 years of autocratic rule.
The page quickly attracted hundreds of supporters, with some comments welcoming "the heroes of Egypt" to the popular networking site and others saying it should be a forum for dialogue between the people and the military.
In the first comment, Walid Shahin suggested steps be taken to revive the vital tourism sector following the uprising, which saw thousands of foreigners flee the country and emptied out its ancient sites, including the Pyramids.
Ahmed Abdullah wrote: "We want an open page... so that you can feel the pulse of the street without a mediator."
The military remains extremely popular after it allowed the nationwide demonstrations to take place and expressed respect for protesters' demands, while the police remain widely despised as cruel enforcers of the old regime.
However, rights groups have said hundreds of people are still missing following the uprising, with dozens likely being held by the army.
Amnesty International said on Thursday it had found fresh evidence of abuse and called on the military to stop torturing detainees.
The group said it had interviewed former detainees who described being tortured by the troops, including by whipping and electric shocks, during the mass protests that forced Mubarak to step down.