Egypt's Sisi calls for legislative changes to tackle 'irresponsible acts from some police members'

Ahram Online , Friday 19 Feb 2016

The statement did not specify which laws would be changed; Sisi praises 'sacrifices of honourable policeman'

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (AFP)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi giving a speech during his visit to the parliament headquarters in Cairo. (AFP)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has ordered that “legislative amendments” be presented to parliament, in response to the killing of a taxi driver by a policeman in Cairo on Thursday.

The president said that “irresponsible acts by some members of the police force” should be dealt with on an individual basis and those responsible held to account, according to a statement issued on Friday by presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef.

The statement did not give further details about what legal changes were being proposed but said that amendment or new legislation may be necessary to ensure the regulation of the security services' performance in Egyptian streets and to guarantee that those who "violate citizen rights unjustly be punished".

The president added in the statement that “Egypt and its people appreciate the sacrifices and efforts of honourable policemen who work to achieve security and stability,” and that such policemen contribute to the country's development and reject “individual violations against citizens.”

According to the statement El-Sisi has called for the legislative amendments to be presented to parliament for discussion within the next 15 days.

El-Sisi's decision came following an “impromptu” meeting with Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar following his arrival in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh for an African business summit.

At the meeting, the president was provided with the latest domestic security developments after the latest events, according to the statement. 

On Thursday, a lower-ranking policeman shot dead a man in a working class district of Cairo following a brawl over money. The incident prompted hundreds of people to converge outside Cairo security directorate on Thursday evening to protest.

According to the interior ministry, the policeman who shot dead 24-year-old taxi driver Mohamed Ali Ismail has been detained and will be questioned.

The policeman fired his gun to disperse a crowd of locals who had gathered and were sympathising with the driver, leading to the death of the driver, the ministry statement said.

Cairo security directorate in an earlier statement said the policeman had shot dead the driver by mistake.

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