Police brutality continues under Morsi

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iol pic afr Tahrir Square clashes

REUTERS

Protesters walk through teargas during clashes with police near Tahrir Square in Cairo, as anti-Morsi protesters start to gather in the square.

Cairo - Police brutality and torture of civilians, which sparked mass protests across Egypt two years ago, has continued under the rule of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a rights group said on Tuesday.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said that 16

people died at the hands of police forces during Morsi's first four months in power, many of them inside police stations.

Eleven people were killed by unjustified use of force and three died of torture.

The cases took place across 11 provinces “indicating a systematic approach” by security forces, EIPR said in a report released three days ahead of the second anniversary of the January 25 revolution which led to the ouster of Hosny Mubarak.

“The torture and killing rates we witness now are not less than what it used to be under Mubarak, in some cases it exceeded what happened then,” EIPR director Hossam Bahgat said.

“And these are just a sample of the instances we observed during the past few months.”

Over the past two years, activists and rights groups reiterated demands for the reform of Egypt's interior ministry and putting an end to all forms of police torture and abuse, which had been widespread under Mubarak.

EIPR said police forces used lethal force during clashes with protesters and responded with violence to people complaining against other policemen.

Other cases involved revenge by policemen, such as a policemen attack on residents in the southern Minya city in December. The attack, which left a young girl injured by a stray bullet in her head, came after an officer died in earlier clashes in the city, EIPR said.

The rights group called for establishing an independent body to oversee security violations, restructuring the police force and changing the rules allowing policemen to use weapons in their work. - Sapa-dpa


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