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Representatives of 24 human rights organizations and political activists said that reforming the Interior Ministry is not one of President Mohamed Morsy's priorities, which allows police to continue to abuse citizens.
Among the groups and organizations in the conference were the Arab Penal Reform Organization, the Human Rights Association for the Assistance of the Prisoners, and the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement.
At a conference organized by the Arab Program for Human Rights Activists on Tuesday, program chairman Haggag Nayel said the reason the police continue the same violations they committed under Mubarak and the military council is because the political leadership is reluctant to change the situation.
“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.
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 err. “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 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.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm