Egypt Resurrects the Police State
Revives secret police, gives military more power
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2013 8:50 AM CDT
An Egyptian riot policeman fires tear gas towards pro-Morsi supporters during clashes in downtown Cairo, Egypt.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

(Newser) – Ending Egypt's brutal police state was a major reason behind the country's 2011 revolution, but as violence on the streets continues, the country now seems to be returning back to that very era. The interim government has just revived two policies emblematic of the widely hated pre-Morsi regime: a law that allows soldiers to arrest civilians, and the resurrection of the country's secret police unit, reports the Wall Street Journal. "It's a return to the Mubarak era," says an Egyptian human rights activist, per the Guardian. "These units committed the most atrocious human rights violations. Incommunicado detentions, killings outside the law. ... It's an ugly authority that has never been brought to justice."

The feared state security service, Mabahith Amn ad-Dawla, was supposedly closed in 2011 and replaced by the national security service. But following a government crackdown on protesters on the weekend which left dozens of pro-Morsi supporters dead, the government announced its return, the Guardian reports. However, some say these secret police never really went away—the current civil unrest just allows leaders to give their image a makeover. "The only thing that happened was that they changed the name," says an Egyptian security researcher. "[The interior minister is] trying to use a situation where the factors on the ground make it easier to re-legitimize these units and police practices." Meanwhile, deposed president Mohamed Morsi met in secret with an EU envoy last night.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Egypt Resurrects the Police State is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 11 comments
Jul 31, 2013 5:33 AM CDT
First we back a police state. Then we support an Islamic government. Then we back another police state. The one thing Washington hasn't tried yet is to say out of the whole mess, cut off all foreign aid, and let the Egyptians settle their own problems. All we do is make things worse, and waste our own tax dollars.
Jul 30, 2013 9:37 PM CDT
So... Egyptians overthrew their old government and elected Muslim Brotherhood representatives. Then the losers of that election suppressed infrastructure ( in order to rile up the population into rioting against the new Muslim Brotherhood government, which was then overthrown by... everyone, really, but most notably the military. And now this 'interim' government are the ones doing the crackdown on the populous at large. All in a period of 18 months. Egypt, you guys are BAD at this.
Jul 30, 2013 6:18 PM CDT
Good call. What's 150 million living under oppression? We'll do and pay for whatever it takes to make Israel happy.