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.
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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid