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Review: Op-Eds chide authority for using violence

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After the recent video clip showing  an Egyptian man being beaten and dragged by security forces, several commentaries have exposed the issue of human rights violations in Egypt. Many writers pointed fingers at the executive authority, blaming it for the widespread violence. Several columnists believe that the authorities should end the practice of violence to convince protesters to do so.


The ministry of interior’s unsolved question

Amr Khafagy

Al-Shorouk newspaper

6-1 Amro Khafagy

Khafagy states that almost all Egyptians and political groups have blamed the Ministry of Interior for the current chaos. However, he believes the ministry is not the only institution deserving of blame. He states that its critics should begin by outlining the duties and responsibilities of the institution. Although an entire revolution has erupted around condemning police officer’s brutal practices, the ministry has only now changed its attitude.

Would it better for Egyptians to remain silent while the police continue with these unacceptable practices, or it would be wiser for the government to reassess the exact responsibilities of the Ministry of Interior? The ministry’s current poor performance means that there are some parties in Egypt that prefer to destroy the country.

Khafagy states that 24 months have passed and nobody has reacted to the importance of reconstructing the infrastructure of the Ministry of Interior. The security dossier has always been one of the top priorities of achieving reform in Egypt, yet many are still blaming the ministry.


The aliens who dragged Hamada Saber

Emad Al-Din Hussein

Al-Shorouk newspaper

Emad Al-Din Hussein

Hussein dissects the violent incident of Hamada Saber, who was shown in a video clip being beaten, dragged and stripped by security forces in front of Itihadiya palace. He condemns Saber’s claim that he was beaten by protesters rather than police forces. The writer ironically asks who has, then, beaten Saber if the clip has shown five security officers kicking him in the legs and hitting him in the head. “Are they aliens?” asks Hussein.

Even if aliens had materialised to beat Saber, why didn’t police officers rescue him? Although Saber has lied to authorities, fearing unknown consequences, the writer argues that he has proven that the current Minister of Interior is even worse than Habib Al-Adly, Mubarak’s Minister of Interior.

The incident, with all its violence and brutality, is a clear sign that Egypt has regressed to a pre-Mubarak era.  If the security officers had not beaten Saber, why would the presidency and the ministry rush to apologize over the incident? Hussein, however, states that he prefers not to blame Sabe, but that it is fair enough to praise his daughter and the rest of his family who denounced Saber’s denial in the media.


An Egyptian scandal

Hassan Nafaa

Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper

Hassan Nafaa

Nafaa argues that the recent incident of dragging Hamada Saber has toppled Egypt into a political crisis.  According to Nafaa, the executive authority is responsible for the widespread violence across the country. After Saber refuted claims that the security forces beat him, Nafaa compares the situation to that of Khaled Said. He said the police manipulated witnesses to deny that officers actually killed Said, and fabricated a story that he died after suffocating on a hash wrap in his throat. They are now doing the same with Saber, after convincing him to lie.

The writer then mentions partial quotes from the presidential statement condemning the incident. He highlighted the section stating that “nobody should make use of such incident as a justification to vandalize state institutions”. Nafaa also denounces the statement issued by the Ministry of Interior, in which the institution affirms that the incident does not represent the entire ministry.

In Nafaa’s view, these statements are meaningless while the authority itself is practicing violence against protesters. If all parties agree to end the violence, then security forces should be the first to stop committing violence.


And what after rejecting violence?

Amr Al-Shobaki

Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper

Amr Al-Shobaki

Nobody can deny the importance of rejecting violence. Nobody would support burning the gates or the windows of Itihadiya palace. Al-Shobaki believes that despite the importance of working hard to stop violence in Egypt’s city squares, it is also necessary to consider the reasons behind inciting violence. What are the factors that have led the protesters to use violence? Do the Muslim Brotherhood think that they might be the reason for this chaos?

The writer states that the Brotherhood, since reaching power, have forgotten or pretended to forget that Egypt has previously faced an even worse regime of violence and terrorism. Now that Egypt has a wide circle of intellectuals and politicians who submit initiatives against violence, the Brotherhood prefers to ignore the factors that pushed protesters to violence.

The writer warns that the uncontrollable level of violence could target the opposition soon. Had those using violence as a solution thought of which group they would prefer to have next? Would it also be Morsi, or the Muslim Brotherhood, or the National Salvation Front (NSF)? The time has come to rethink the factors and reasons behind the violence in Egypt.

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