Police brutality in Egypt is as common under the newly elected President Mohammed Morsi as it was under the regime of Hosni Mubarak, a new study finds, raising questions about how much progress the revolution has made.
The Nadim Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, an Egyptian organization that has been around for almost 20 years, found more than 200 cases of police brutality during the first 100 days of Morsi’s presidency.
“It’s the same system because there is no political will to change” police practices, Magda Adly, the center’s director, told McClatchy News. “It’s not enough to change the heads of institutions because they were trained in a school that does not respect humanity. . . . Those practices will continue.”
Adly also said the report’s findings are not comprehensive, and came only from published accounts or court details. “The actual number of cases only God knows,” she said.
The US bears some measure responsibility for this. Not only is the system that includes police brutality in place because of decades-long US support for the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, but even since his overthrow, Washington has been sending Egyptian security forces anti-riot gear, crowd control equipment and weaponry.
Despite the transfer of power in Egypt and the unsettling hand it dealt to Washington’s foreign policy elite, the US has continued to send about $1.5 billion to Egypt every year, mostly in security assistance, and offering even more in debt relief, apparently as a bribe to keep “American interests” a priority.