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Justice ministry presser tackles private security firms, El-Gendy case

At press conference in Egypt's Gharbiya governorate, Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki discusses proposals to use private security firms for domestic policing and the controversial case of slain activist Mohamed El-Gendy

Ahram Online, Tuesday 12 Mar 2013
Views: 1043
Views: 1043

The Egyptian government is currently studying the possibility of using private security firms for domestic policing, Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki said at a Tuesday press conference at which he also discussed the controversial case of slain activist Mohamed El-Gendy.

"There is a proposition to legalise the status of private security companies to combat the ongoing security vacuum," Mekki said. "The state is also seeking draft legislation aimed at restricting the activities of outlaws and armed groups, in addition to a law to oversee the funds and expenditures of private [political] organisations."

Mekki's statements came after the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) announced that it was mulling draft legislation aimed at allowing the state to employ private security firms for domestic policing. The move comes amid an ongoing strike by large numbers of Egyptian police officers.

At the same press conference, convened in Egypt's Gharbiya governorate in the Nile Delta, Mekki also referred to earlier controversial statements he made about slain activist Mohamed El-Gendy. While forensic officials had initially attributed El-Gendy's death to an automobile accident, many observers believe the activist was tortured to death by police following his arrest early last month.

"The interior minister has informed me that the initial forensic report about El-Gendy's death had shown that he was killed in a car accident," Mekki said. "The interior minister also requested that this information be announced by the prosecution, but I have decided to announce it myself."

"Nevertheless," the minister added, "the final [forensic] report will provide the last word."

Mekki added that President Mohamed Morsi "is closely following the Mohamed El-Gendy case."

The 28-year-old activist died on 4 February after having been arrested during the clashes between police and anti-government protesters that marked the second anniversary of Egypt's 25 January 2011 uprising.

Mekki later came under fire after stating that a forensic report prepared by his ministry had attributed El-Gendy's death to a car crash rather than police torture. Two weeks after Mekki's statement, however, a forensics committee – drawn up by prosecutors – attributed the activist's death to torture.

Shortly before Tuesday's press conference, hundreds of protesters in Gharbiya surrounded the minister, expressing anger over the latter's policies and demanding that El-Gendy's killers be held to account.

Egyptian Prosecutor-General Talaat Ibrahim, for his part, has drawn up a committee to look into the activist's death. The seven-member committee has yet to release its findings.

Mekki was appointed justice minister by President Morsi last August. He had formerly served as vice-president of Egypt's Court of Cassation, the country's highest appeal court.

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13-03-2013 01:14pm
The other point of view
Protesters have used violence to overthrow an elected president. The police force is extremely thin fighting in several fronts (ex regime gangsters, narcotics, rapists, thugs, and oppositions that act like a spoiled child). Just read the crime column in any Egyptian newspapers. The society I need of common laws and citizen arrest program to combat crimes. NFS bears the responsibilities for advocating violence. They have that young's man blood in their hands. The olds need to stop exploiting the youngsters to advance theirs washed out career.
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13-03-2013 11:42am
Lies, Lies, and more Lies
So the government, which is in charge of security and which has control over the Police and Armed Forces, is considering legalizing private security forces to bring law and order ! Does this happen anywhere else except in the land of the Moslem Brotherhood ? A man dies and several weeks later we are still not sure how or why? And this is a case that the President is following closely ! What if he wasn't following ? How much worse can it get . ps: I am sure Ahramonline will not post these comments, like they don't post many others that challenge their view of the status quo.
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13-03-2013 01:26pm
Don't you worry
Alahramonline loves anti Muslims comments. All hate comments are welcome.

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