Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar defended the Egyptian government’s security procedures in a press conference on Monday, claiming that that security forces thwarted Muslim Brotherhood plans to incite chaos on 25 January and impugned claims that security forces were involved in the death of Cambridge PhD student and Italian national Giulio Regeni.
According to Abdel Ghaffar, there were several plans by foreign organisations to incite chaos on the anniversary of the 25 January Revolution. However, security forces managed to uncover and abort these plans before the anniversary.
Moreover, he claimed that Muslim Brotherhood followers are collaborating with foreign organisations to destabilise Egypt with no consideration for national security.
Concerning the death of the Regeni , Abdel Ghaffar stated that an official report has not yet been published detailing any facts about the circumstances of his death. He condemned parties who have accused security forces of being involved in the disappearance and death of the Italian national.
“We were informed about the disappearance of Regeni on 27 January and we immediately started investigations; it is illogical to accuse the police of involvement in this case,” Abdel Ghaffar asserted.
A delegation of Italian police officers are participating in the Egyptian investigation.
Abdel Ghaffar said that the Ministry of Interior never accused or assumed that Regeni was a spy. However, he said that Egyptian and Italian authorities will have to wait for the final results of the investigations before accusing anyone.
Additionally, he said opposing security and police forces has become a widespread phenomenon but it is absurd to keep accusing them without evidence.
Abdel Ghaffar acknowledged the possibility of corruption in the police force as corruption is rife throughout the world. However, he said that people must not generalise from individual cases and blame the entire ministry. He described those who disregard the police’s role in securing the country as “unpatriotic”.
Regarding the incident at Al-Matareyya hospital, Abdel Ghaffar said though there was a dispute between police officers and doctors, but the facts of the case are still unclear.
The Ministry of Interior refutes any alleged violation against the doctors. However, he said the two police officers had been referred to disciplinary court, the maximum measure that can be taken before the results of the investigation are released.
Abdel Ghaffar criticised the ubiquity of the term “enforced disappearance”, claiming that the ministry abducted anyone. Moreover, he stated that all putative cases of enforced disappearances have been well investigated but remain unfounded.
Regarding the insurgency in North Sinai, Abdel Ghaffar asserted that National Security Apparatus forces are doing their best to combat insurgency and terrorism, despite well-planned movements against them.
“There will be no reconciliation with the terrorists or anyone who is involved in shedding Egyptian blood,” confirmed Abdel Ghaffar.
Though the policy and ideology of the Islamic State (IS) may not be present physically in Egypt, Abdel Ghaffar says it is being adopted by many followers of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.
Abdel Ghaffar claimed that Muslim Brotherhood members and followers are joining forces with terrorist groups to execute terror acts in Egypt.
On 25 January, Ahmed Malek and Shady Abou Zeid distributed inflated condoms as balloons to police personnel who were securing Tahrir square. In response to the incident, Abdel Ghaffar said the ministry has decided to ignore it and leave it to society to decide their punishment.