Recent clashes in Egypt highlight need for Central Security reform

News article, posted 07.05.2011, from Cairo, Egypt, in:
Author: 
Mohamed Elmeshad
Language: 
English
Recent clashes in Egypt highlight need for Central Security reform (Photo: Ahmad el-Gamal)

Clashes between protesters and security forces in and around Tahrir Square this week gave activists a sobering reminder that the Ministry of Interior has yet to change one of the more troubling departments under its auspices, Central Security Forces (CSF), or the riot police.

Activists accuse the forces of being both unprofessional and incompetent. Critics point to riot police violently engaging protesters and martyrs’ families Tuesday and Wednesday rather than trying to contain the situation as an example.

“They were using tear gas, throwing stones, brandishing swords; it was like we were in a fight with some common thugs who we had a feud with,” said Abdullah Adham, a 22-year-old student protester.

Many eyewitness accounts and videos posted on YouTube confirm that at around 12:30 am Wednesday, at least one CSF officer verbally abused protesters, some of whom were mothers of martyrs.

“We’ll show you! You sons of whores! We’re going to really punish you all for this,” he said.

The Ministry of Health says that at least 1,114 were injured in the clashes.

...

[Excerpt—See accompanying URL for full original text]