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

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill More

What Happens When Americans Eat What They Tweet

You are what you tweet, according to new maps that show a correlation between obesity and tweeting about high-fat foods 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs