[QODLink]
Middle East

Egypt report on protest deaths blames police

Fact-finding commission concludes police were responsible for nearly all 900 killings during country's 2011 revolution.
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2013 17:08

An inquiry into the deaths of nearly 900 protesters during Egypt's revolution has concluded that the police were behind nearly all the killings.

The report, parts of which were obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday, said the police force used snipers on rooftops overlooking Cairo's Tahrir Square to shoot into the crowds.

It is the most authoritative account of the killings determined that the deadly force used could only have been authorised by Hosni Mubarak's security chief, with the former president's full knowledge.

The report of the fact-finding commission, created by President Mohammed Morsi, could weigh heavily in the upcoming retrial of Mubarak, as well as his security chief, former interior minister Habib el-Adly, and six top police commanders.

It is also likely to fuel calls for reforming the powerful security forces and lead to prosecutions of members of the police force.

Security vacuum

The findings were leaked at a sensitive time for the country's police. 

Still hated by most Egyptians, the force is in upheaval, with segments of police on strike and its chief, Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, pleading not to drag it into politics.

The force is also facing a challenge from Islamist groups threatening to set up "popular committees" to fill what they call a security vacuum created by the police strike.

Part of the force also is protesting against what some officers see as an attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood to control the force. The Brotherhood denies the charge.

The Interior Ministry, which controls the police, has repeatedly rejected charges that it bore responsibility for the killings in Cairo and other cities during the 18-day uprising that began on January 25, 2011, and ended with Mubarak stepping down.

In contrast, the pro-democracy activists behind the uprising have long maintained that police were to blame.

Mubarak and el-Adly, the second most powerful figure after the ousted leader, were convicted and sentenced to life in jail in June 2012 for failing to stop the killings, but the two have successfully appealed their convictions.

The six top police commanders put on trial with Mubarak and el-Adly - including the head of security in Cairo and the commander of the riot police - were acquitted of charges related to the killings.

The prosecution appealed that verdict and a new trial of the eight will start next month.

397

Source:
AP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list