Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Egypt's Interior Minister dissolves State Security Investigation Service

Egypt's Interior Minister Mansour Al-Issawi has dissolved all branches of State Security Investigation Service (SSIS), responsible for years of human rights abuses. The service will be replaced with a new National Security Force. Al-Issawi said the new agency will be responsible for "protecting the domestic front and combating terrorism". The personnel is expected to be selected in due course.

The SSIS, consisted of over 100,000 security officials, and served to keep former president Hosni Mubarak's grip of power over Egypt during his 30 year reign. The agency played a vital role in the violence in the country's uprising, during which at least 365 people died.

Egypt's main opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), banned under Mubarak, said many of its members suffered at the hands of the SSIS. Earlier this month, anti-government protesters swarmed the agency's headquarters and offices in several cities, including Cairo and Alexandria, and found piles of shredded documents.

The Head of SSIS has been apprehended and is facing investigation for ordering the killing of protesters. Almost 50 other officials have been detained on suspicion of destroying evidence. International human rights groups have documented hundreds of cases of human rights abuse by the SSIS, their torture methods included suspending victims by the wrists and ankles; beatings with metal rods and use of electric shocks.

On Tuesday 15th, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced her support for Egypt's progress toward democracy and promised economic aid. She said, "This moment of history belongs to you. This is your achievement…The US and President [Barack] Obama and I will stand with you as you make this journey."

Sources: BBC News, WSJ, Saudi Gazette, Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

No comments:

Post a Comment