News / Africa

Egyptian Rights Group: No End to Police Abuses

Demonstrators carry poster of Khaled Said on the second anniversary of his death by Egyptian police, Cairo, June 6, 2012.
Demonstrators carry poster of Khaled Said on the second anniversary of his death by Egyptian police, Cairo, June 6, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Elizabeth Arrott
A human rights group in Egypt says it has documented dozens of cases of torture, rape and wrongful deaths at the hands of security forces since President Mohamed Morsi's rise to power.
 
If true, the allegations, familiar to many in Egypt – police beatings, torture, the use of lethal force against unarmed civilians – would indicate the new government's failure to end one of the most reviled aspects of the old system that led to last year's ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
 
But these new allegations by the Nadim Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, which the Morsi government denies, focus on the first months of Morsi's rule.
 
Nadim Center psychiatrist Suzan Fayyad says she was not surprised by the allegations, despite Morsi's efforts to extend his influence over the worst offenders under the previous government – internal security.
 
“He did not try to change any of the institutions in the country: not radical change, even no half-radical change. No single change," she said.
 
In its latest report, the Cairo-based human rights group, which has been tracking abuse for nearly 20 years, charges that police have been responsible for 34 deaths, 88 cases of torture and seven cases of sexual assault since Morsi took office in June.
 
According to Fayyad, many of the victims were protesters, and not just political ones.
 
“Most of the violations are against innocent people in the poor quarters in the cities or slums or villages," she said. "It happened usually when they are striking to improve their economic situations."
 
Others, the report says, are political activists, including university students. Most of the deaths, it says, came from an excess use of force when police tried to break up protests.
 
Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal al-Din has said police under the new government will respect citizen rights without any violations – a claim other human rights groups, including Amnesty International, dispute.
 
Of the many promises to reform the Interior Ministry, many critics have noted, salary increases is one of the few carried out.
 
The issue is complicated by the priority to reassemble the force in the wake of last year's revolution. Many police, despised by a newly empowered people, fled their posts during the unrest, ushering in a rise in crime.
 
Political analyst and publisher Rania al Malki says the crime increase caused many Egyptians to reconsider the role of the police.
 
“In general people want the police to be back and they want them to be back in a very strong way," she said. "I mean, the lack of security over the last two years almost has been something that has been criticized very strongly.”
 
The Morsi government, al Malki adds, with its promise to reform the Interior Ministry through internal review, human rights training and punishment for abuse, appears to be weighing several factors.
 
“There is this balancing act the ministry needs to make in order to implement rules about good behavior and about good conduct towards citizens, but at the same time without alienating the police force," she said.
 
Al Malki is among those calling for more emphasis on reform, saying that without strong political will at the highest levels of government, it won't happen.

So far, she argues, it hasn't even begun.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Andre Rabie
October 16, 2012 9:50 AM
What we Egyptians and the media should ask Morsi is:
What have you seen, learned or came in contact with in the US when you lived that you would like to introduce in Egypt. Can we have a stock market modeled after NYSE? Could you see the standard of living difference and you would like to improve it? Could we have LESS police brutality just like the US? Or do you want to just enforce Muslim laws which are basically old Arab customs that aren't very convenient nowadays, like no usury? You said on Oct/06:"We prefer hunger over usury" Why are you saying we? I don't agree and others don't agree either.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid