Departments accused of Mubarak-era torture to be reactivated

Egypt's Interior Minister said that the monitoring departments would be reactivated despite their dismantling having been a main demand of the January revolution. He also said the pro-Morsi protestors would be dispersed, and Muslim Brotherhood leaders arrested.

Departments accused of Mubarak-era torture to be reactivated

World Bulletin/News Desk

Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said Saturday that sit-ins staged by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo and Giza would be dispersed soon and Muslim Brotherhood leaders arrested.

Speaking at a Saturday press conference, Ibrahim said Muslim Brotherhood leaders who had been issued with arrest warrants on charges of incitement to murder would soon be arrested.

"The process of dispersing the sit-in by force will lead to losses of life," the minister said, hoping the protesters would disperse willingly and not force his troops to use force.

The minister went on to say that Muslim Brotherhood leaders currently holed up inside the sit-in site would be arrested once protesters dispersed.

"The Interior Ministry is coordinating with the Armed Forces on this," he said.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim also said his ministry would reactivate departments tasked with monitoring "extremism" and political activity in Egypt.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, he described the closure of these departments after the January 2011 revolution– which toppled long-serving president Hosni Mubarak – as a "mistake."

"This mistake is being rectified," he said.

The minister added that "distinguished" officers in these departments sacked in the wake of the 2011 revolution would be reinstated.

Dismantling the Interior Ministry's State Security Service, which had included both these departments, was a main demand, and achievement, of the January revolution.

Human rights groups in the past had accused both departments of the systematic torture of Islamist and opposition figures, a charge denied by the Interior Ministry at the time.

Ibrahim also said that the Police Academy would review the cases of 70 police cadets with possible affiliations to the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Their files will be reviewed before a decision is taken on them," he said.

Prior to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution which toppled Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood had been outlawed and persecuted for six decades.

At least 60 people were killed in clashes between pro-Morsi demonstrators and security forces near Rab'a al-Adaweya Square early Saturday, according to the Health Ministry.

But medics at a field hospital set up in the square say at least 200 people had been killed and thousands injured.

The Interior Ministry denied that the police had "fired a single bullet against protesters," instead blaming the Muslim Brotherhood for the incidents.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Temmuz 2013, 11:04