Cairo, 21 Sya’ban 1436/8 June 2015 (MINA) – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has apologised to the nation for human right abuses committed by the police.
“I apologise to every Egyptian citizen who has been subjected to any abuse. I am accountable for anything that happens to an Egyptian citizen,” Sisi said on Sunday, a year after he took office.
But he presented no clear plan for addressing the problems, Al Jazeera quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
Sisi assumed power after a military coup against the democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi. Morsi has since been jailed and was recently sentenced to death over a 2011 mass prison break.
Activists say the police, whose power waned as former president Hosni Mubarak fell, now act with impunity, a charge the interior ministry denies.
The courts have recently taken up several cases where police are accused of killing civilians, including a young woman commemorating the 2011 uprising, a Morsi supporter detained in hospital and a lawyer allegedly tortured to death in a police station.
A policeman received a three-month jail sentence on Sunday for hitting a lawyer with his shoe during an altercation, judicial sources said.
The trials, while rare, have raised hopes that the police, who rights groups accused of widespread torture under Mubarak, will be held more to account.
Nearly all the 100 policemen tried for killing protesters in the 2011 revolt were acquitted, along with former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and top aides.
“I say to our sons in the police or any government agency they must be mindful that they are dealing with human beings,” Sisi was quoted as saying on Sunday by state news agency MENA. (T/P001/R04)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)