We should not hold entire police authority accountable: Prime Minister

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read
Protesters surround Cairo Security Directorate following driver;s killing by policeman in Darb Al-Ahmar. (Ahmed Hendawy)

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced Monday that the government will draft legislation, along with other procedures, to address recent violations by policemen.

Ismail spoke at a press conference that followed a meeting with the Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar and top officials at the ministry. Ahead of the meeting, media reports suggested officials are set to discuss amendments to law 109/1971 that regulates the work of the police authority.

The prime minister revealed that legislations to help the organisation of the relationship between police and citizens will be discussed before the cabinet in its first meeting next month.

“We should not hold the entire police authority accountable for misdeeds of some individuals,” Ismail said, adding that there will be a working plan to train policemen.

The meeting between Ismail and Abdel Ghaffar took place after a driver was shot dead by a policeman Thursday night in the district of Darb Al-Ahmar in Cairo.

Upon hearing of incident, family and friends of the dead driver, Mohamed Ismail, demonstrated in front of Cairo’s Security Directorate, where they chanted against the police apparatus, saying: “The police are thugs”.

Abdel Ghaffar met with father of the deceased Ali Ismail Sunday evening to offer his condolences and asserted personal responsibility for retribution. He also told Ismail that he and the police authority condemn what the actions of the policeman, according to a statement from the Ministry of Interior.

The policeman accused of killing the driver was detained the day after the accident and the prosecution issued a four-day detention.

In response to the incident, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met with Abdel Ghaffar to discuss the case, according to a statement from presidency spokesman Alaa Youssef.

Al-Sisi ordered Abdel Ghaffar to prepare legislative measures to guarantee the accountability and performance of security forces operating in civilian areas. He also ordered these preparations be ready within 15 days, at which point they will be submitted to the parliament.

Four reported cases of assault by police officers have garnered widespread criticism on social media and from human rights activists. The Ministry of Interior has repeatedly denied accusations of systematic and widespread abuse of state power.

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) issued a statement Saturday in which it said there is no need to issue new legislations to confront recent violations, rather a strict commitment to current laws is sufficient to counter violations.

ESDP asserted that reforming the police apparatus is a necessity and the party will issue a comprehensive plan for the rehabilitation of the police apparatus. The statement indicated that recent reported cases of police abuses are not “individual cases” as declared repeatedly by the ministry.

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