28 January 2011 marked a turning point in Egyptian history. On that day, anti-Mubarak demonstrations escalated their protests, engaging in violent confrontations with police forces all over the country. Protesters surrounded police stations, and police forces opened fire, killing many.
Reports mentioning deaths only reinvigorated the demonstrations, leading protesters to directly attack police stations and target officers. Outnumbered, police forces withdrew from their positions, leading to widespread looting, acts of thuggery, and hundreds of deaths.
Police stations were targeted because they were seen a symbol of police brutality and regime corruption. Since then and until today, the government has been campaigning for a different image for police forces. Slogans such as “the police are in the service of the people”, and “police and the people are one hand” are constantly used in pro-government propaganda and in posters on the streets.
However, local and international human rights organisations continue to condemn the Egyptian security forces for their brutality and torture of civilians in police stations and prisons.
Photo by Jihad Abaza