Minister of Justice Ahmed Al-Zind made a statement Monday about issuing legislation that allows the penalisation of relatives of terrorists who went under the radar. However the old habits of the Egyptian authorities do not await legislations.
The North Cairo prosecution ordered Friday the detention of the wife and mother of a murder suspect on charges of complicity, resisting authorities, attempted murder, and possessing drugs among others for four days pending investigations.
The arrest and detention of Mohamed “Korea” Waheed came after two failed police raids in North Cairo and Qaliubiya to arrest the heads of a drug cartel that operates in the region.
According to the Ministry of Interior and state-run newspaper reports, the first raid took place last Sunday when a police force from Qaliubiya’s Al-Khanka police station headed to Syriaqos village to arrest Mohamed “El-Doksh” Amin, a renowned local drug lord, on several charges. The force was ambushed. Two officers and three informants were killed.
A second raid took place Thursday attempting to arrest one of El-Doksh’s aids, Korea, who is suspected by the police of murdering one of the officers in the first raid. The police force was from a different police station. Yet it was anticipated since another officer was killed during the raid in Cairo’s Al-Zawya Al-Hamra district and two policemen were injured.
In Korea’s wife’s testimony, details of the husband’s attempts to evade arrest were provided. She was charged with complicity nonetheless.
Egyptian laws and legislations have always been following the rule of “personalisation of the penalty”, yet there are crimes of complicity and sheltering criminals, according to criminal justice researcher and lawyer at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) Hoda Nasrallah.
“The police in Egypt can only gather information and evidence using torture to get [forced] confessions,” she said.
She pointed out practices and legislations that are similar or even harsher than the aforementioned legislations. “Thinking” such as an article at the recently issued terrorism law that penalises those who do not inform of a terrorism crime and a loophole in the penal code’s Article 126 that a number of police officers abused to evade prosecution over torture as it states the penalty is for torturing suspects, not mentioning the relatives.