Egypt: Police brutality continues, according to human rights groups

Haggag Nayel.
(Photo: BHRM)

Reforming the Interior Ministry is not one of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsy's priorities, which allows police to continue attacking citizens with excessive force, according to 24 Egyptian human rights organizations, among them the Arab Penal Reform Organization, the Human Rights Association for the Assistance of the Prisoners, and the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement (national focal point of Social Watch).

At a conference organized by the Arab Program for Human Rights Activists last week, the chairman of this organization, Haggag Nayel, said the reason the police continue following the same pattern of violations they committed under the Hosni Mubarak’s regime and the military council is because the political leadership is reluctant to change the rules.

“It seems the president gave the green light to the Interior Ministry to do as it pleases as long as it maintains security and protects the regime,” Nayel said, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm daily newspaper.

Mohamed Nabil Omar, secretary general of the Police Officers Syndicate, which is still being established, said the police must stop playing politics and concentrate on the security of the citizens and the state.

Retired police officer Fouad Allam said the whole state would be affected if the police forces use violence against the people. “We must punish police officers who abuse their power on citizens,” he said. “But we must equally punish citizens who offend the police.”

Police brutality, corruption and torture were some of the major issues that fueled the 25 January 2011 revolution. Mubarak’s police force was notorious for torturing suspects, often to death, and committing human rights violations. Many people say police brutality has not abated since Mubarak’s fall.

Egypt Independent: