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The president refused a police request to allow them to use greater force with protesters around the presidential palace, Deputy Assistant Interior Minister for Public Security Abdel Fattah Othman said, adding that he ordered police to use only tear gas.
Othman also told the Shura Council National Security Committee Sunday that a man who appeared to be filmed being dragged and beaten by police was assaulted by the demonstrators who thought he was a police officer, but left him when they found he was not. He also said the man was shot in the leg with birdshot.
He added that the police wanted to hide him in a van but he resisted, so they tried to take him by force.
“This was when he was filmed,” he said. “It appeared as if they were dragging him.”
He said the ministry respects and protects peaceful demonstrations.
“But demonstrations now intend to storm public installations and demonstrators are armed,” he said. “It has become difficult to deal with.”
He said the protests bill allows police to place ex-convicts under surveillance before demonstrations so as to avoid trouble.
“Without such measure, the ministry would have no control over the street,” he noted.
He explained that the suspicion law lacks the control mechanisms of the Emergency Law that allow the detention of ex-convicts in a safe place for a specific period.
“There are similar laws in the world for the protection of society,” he pointed out.
Othman accused the media of falsifying the truth.
“The media is a terrible machine out of governmental, political or security control,” he said. “We are ready to open our own channel.”
Nearly 60 protesters have died in ongoing clashes and violence that broke out amid the two-year anniversary of the revolution on 25 January. Two protesters died amid clashes at Ettehadiya Presidential Palace over the past two days.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm