Sunday, April 5, 2015

Egypt's interior ministry calls on citizens to report police abuse

The ministry said it was keen not to cover up any abuse and offered a hotline for citizens to report human rights violations by police forces

 Magdi Abdel-Ghaffar

Egypt's ministry of interior on Sunday called on citizens to report police abuses, a move that comes amid continuing documentation of alleged human rights violations in places of police detention.

In a statement on its official Facebook page, the ministry said any form of encroachment is "an individualistic behaviour that does not represent by any means the strategy of the interior ministry."

"[Our policy] is based on justice, equality, maintaining citizens' dignity and inviolability of personal freedoms and rights, as well as applying the law to everyone with no exceptions."

The statement offered email addresses and phone numbers for people to report incidents of human rights violations.

In recent months, alleged accounts of abuses and torture in detention cells surfaced, flashing back to the infamous reports of police assaults during Hosni Mubarak's era.

The heavy-handedness and brutality of police was one of the main causes that sparked the revolution against Mubarak and his regime in 2011.

After the ouster of Islamist ousted Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and the subsequent clampdown on his supporters, another wave of torture claims, followed by outcries from human rights groups, surfaced.

Last week, members of the state's National Council of Human Rights said some of the prisoners whom they met were badly beaten, not allowed access to toilets, potable water or given enough food.

In a separate incident, two National Security officers are currently facing charges of torturing a civilian to death in a police station in Cairo's Matariya district. In February, the general prosecution imposed a gag order on the case.