CAIRO - Young Egyptians who are savvy about the Internet and want greater freedom would have nothing to fear if former Hosni Mubarak military commander Ahmed Shafik is elected president, the candidate said on Friday.

Seeking to quell fears of youth activists who say a Shafik presidency would bring back Mubarak's autocratic state, the former air force commander said he would not clamp down on freedom of expression.

"No youth will be jailed for his political activities or expressing his views in the new republic (of Egypt). Fear not for your future," Shafik said at a press conference while thousands of protesters rallied in Cairo's Tahrir Square against him.

"I follow what you write on the Internet, Facebook and Twitter. I promise to guarantee the freedom of the Internet. We will develop telecommunication," he said, addressing youth from the setting of a five-star golf resort on the outskirts of Cairo.

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