Protests spark in Cairo and Alexandria over police violence

Protests spark in Cairo and Alexandria over police violence

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Tue, 05/02/2013 - 20:44

Hundreds in Cairo and Alexandria staged protests on Tuesday to denounce police violence.

In Cairo, scores of men and women marched from the High Court in downtown Cairo to Tahrir Square, demanding police officers accused of stripping and beating protester Hamada Saber outside the presidential palace last week be punished. According to state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper, the group chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsy.

In Alexandria, state-run MENA news agency said Wafd and Wasat Party members wore black to a joint demonstration outside the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, while others protested outside the Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque.

Activists say police abuse continues unabated, even after the revolution. Police brutality, corruption and torture were major issues fueling the 25 January uprising as Mubarak’s police force was notorious for torturing suspects, often to death, and committing human rights violations.

Leading figures from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party slammed the Interior Ministry on Monday, accusing the ministry of bearing responsibility for recent allegations of police brutality.

Opposition figures, meanwhile, are blaming Morsy for the deaths of at least 57 protesters in clashes that broke out nationwide following the second anniversary of the 25 January uprising. They accuse the Morsy administration of condoning violence as a way to suppress demonstrations.

International group Human Rights Watch has called on the government to put an end to police abuses. Joe Stork, Deputy Middle East Ddirector, said in a statement last week, “What is glaringly missing are orders to the police and military to exercise restraint in their use of force and to warn that all official abuses will be punished.”