- Middle East/North Africa
Former Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy has filed a case against a journalist accusing him of humiliating the police, Al-Ahram newspaper reported on Sunday.
On its website, the paper said Essawy filed his case against journalist Ahmed al-Noqr, deputy chief editor of Al-Akhbar newspaper, and Mohamed Barakat, chairman of Al-Akhbar.
Essawy wrote an article on 27 November in Al-Akbar in which he called for laying off current police officers and replacing the existing police apparatus with one that respects the law and human rights.
"Those who have closely watched the behavior and movements of the police in Tahrir and other squares across Egypt during the second revolution, or the second wave of the revolution which began on 19 November, should have noticed that members of the police force are not only reacting with excessive violence towards protesters, but are also ferociously vengeful, perhaps in reaction to their defeat by unarmed, peaceful protesters on Friday 28 January," Noqr wrote.
The paper cited Noqr as saying that Essawy has accused him of writing an article that contained "false news, data and rumors that could undermine security and peace, spread fear among people, harm public interest and humiliate the police institution."
Essawy called for imposing the harshest penalty possible on the writer and for Al-Akhbar to pay compensation of LE10,000.
Several rights activists have called for reforming Egypt’s security apparatus, particularly because ousted President Hosni Mubarak used the institution to protect his rule.
Rights activists also believe that the interior minister should be a civilian with a legal background, preferably a lawyer or judge.