Minister of Justice, Ahmed Mekki, mandated on Monday three appeals judges from the Cairo Al-Mansoura and Qena appeals courts, to investigate four assaults of citizens by police personnel.
The decision comes in response to a request sent by head of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Hossam El-Gheriany on Thursday to the minister, reported state-owned news agency MENA.
“I’m happy and grateful for such news, because we are going through an exceptional moment in Egyptian history,” said Haggag Nael, director of the Arab Program for Human Rights Activists (APHRA), and one of the four citizens claiming he was assaulted by the police.
Nael stated a judicial investigation was needed, as he thought police investigations never amount to anything.
“We thought that after the January 2011 revolution the police would change for the better,” Nael said, “yet the change is for the worse; the police are violent in the streets, alongside the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Nael said he thought there was an unofficial deal between the state and the police, where the state gives the police a free hand to assault and restrain freedoms, in return for relative calm among the ruling authorities.
“The authorities are busy establishing themselves in the state’s institutions and creating a deep state through taking over parliament, the governorates, the Supreme Press Council,” Nael said, “meanwhile, the police are free to assault activists.”
Nael stated he doesn’t feel completely optimistic about the outcome of the investigation, since he thinks nobody has been punished for their crimes since the January 2011 revolution. He added the media attention his case, as well as the three other featured cases, could be the reason for launching this investigation.
Nael says he was subjected to police assault over a month ago, when he was called in to the Nasr City police department by one of his clients. He arrived to find his client bloody following a fight with a group of people Nael described as “thugs.”
Nael says he was then forcefully sent to detention after being charged with assault, where he remained for two hours. He said he was released only when forced to sign a conciliation agreement with the “thugs” who had attacked his client.
The other three citizens referred to in the request are: Mansoura University research assistant, Taqadom Al-Khatib, who says was assaulted in a police ambush in Qena then accused of attacking police personnel; revolutionary figure, Khaled Al-Sayed, who says he was assaulted in a Nasr City ambush and falsely charged with drug possession; and company chairman, Mohamed Soliman, who says he was physically assaulted, dragged and injured by police personnel in an ambush .