Cairo: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al- Sisi said he would ask parliament to amend the law to toughen sanctions for police abuses, his office said today, a day after an officer shot dead a driver.
The statement from his office came as dozens of demonstrators gathered outside Cairo police headquarters chanting: “The interior ministry are thugs,” after the officer killed the driver over a fare dispute.
The interior ministry had announced earlier today that the policeman, who was badly beaten by a crowd after the killing, was arrested in hospital.
Police have been on the defensive after a string of deaths in custody over the past year, redolent of the abuses that fuelled an 18-day uprising which ousted president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
The statement from Sisi’s office said he told Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Gaffar that abuses were carried out by a “number of policemen,” and he praised the ministry’s “sacrifices.”
“But these actions must be stopped and the perpetrators held to account,” Sisi told Abdel Ghaffar, according to the statement.
“This may require some legal amendments, or new laws, that regulate police performance on the street, and that ensure all who violate the rights of citizens will be held to account.”
Sisi will present the amendments to parliament within 15 days.