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 by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

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 a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

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