Egypt refers policeman to criminal court over charges of killing civilian

Ahram Online , Sunday 21 Feb 2016

President El-Sisi said on Friday that 'legislative amendments' must be introduced to stop 'irresponsible acts by police officers'

Mohamed Ali
Mourners carry the coffin of Mohamed Ali, a 23 year-old driver, who was shot dead overnight during a dispute with a policeman, during his funeral in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 (AP)

Egypt's prosecution referred a low-ranking policeman to criminal court on Sunday on charges of deliberate murder after the policeman fatally shot a civilian following a fight in Cairo on Thursday.

A judicial source within the general prosecution told Ahram Online that both the police interrogations and the forensic authority’s report indicate that Mostafa Abdel Hassib, the low-ranking policeman, killed taxi driver Mohamed Ali Ismail.

The interior ministry arrested Abdel Hassib on Friday and released a statement saying that Ismail was killed when the policeman fired his gun in an attempt to disperse a crowd that had gathered following a financial dispute between the driver and the policeman.

The incident took place in Cairo’s working-class district of El-Darb El-Ahmar.

Meanwhile, dozens of police personnel in Sharqiya governorate gathered at the security directorate to protest the arrest of seven colleagues, who are charged with stirring public opinion against the interior ministry and speaking to the media without permission.

The seven arrested low-ranking policemen from Sharqiya were heading to the Media Production city in 6th of October late Saturday to discuss on a television program recent problems they have been facing in their profession.

Both incidents come amid public uproar against some practices by low-ranking policemen in the past few weeks, including an alleged assault last month by policemen on two doctors at a Cairo hospital.

President El-Sisi ordered on Friday that “legislative amendments” be presented to the parliament within the next 15 days to tackle "irresponsible acts by police officers."

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

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

Interior ministry spokesperson Major General Abu-Bakr Abdel-Karim told state owned MENA news agency that "whoever mistreats citizens, contravenes the law, or works to obstruct the relationship between the security apparatus and the great Egyptian people does not have a place inside the ministry."

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