Egypt Lacks the Political Will for Needed Security Sector Reform

Egypt Lacks the Political Will for Needed Security Sector Reform

In March 2011, after Hosni Mubarak’s fall, when Egyptian protesters stormed and ransacked the offices of State Security Investigations (SSI) throughout the country, it appeared that efforts to reform Egypt’s chastened police force had achieved broad social and political consensus. Yet, two years later, accountability for past crimes, including those committed during the uprising, remains lacking, and the Ministry of Interior remains wholly unreformed and often brutal.

Scenes of police violence have once again become commonplace, reaching a peak in Port Said in late-January, when more than 30 people, including two police officers, were killed. This weekend’s bloody clashes in Port Said left three civilians and three police dead. Meanwhile, today’s Muslim Brotherhood-led government, much like Egypt’s post-Mubarak interim military leaders, continues to seek security solutions to the country’s intractable political crises and cycles of protest.

Before the unexpected outpouring of protest that began on Jan. 25, 2011 -- Egypt’s Police Day -- police repression, including coercion, torture and forced confessions, was a constant theme of opposition grievances. Routine interactions with the police often resulted in abuse. Emblematic of this brutality was the June 2010 murder of Khaled Said, a young Alexandrian activist killed in police custody. His murder, and the “We Are All Khaled Said” campaign it inspired, marked a new public awareness of police brutality and played an important role in galvanizing a critical mass of protesters.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review