Egypt moves to rein in police

Mourners protest the death of Mohamed Ali, a 23 year-old driver, who was shot dead overnight during a dispute with a police sergeant, outside local security headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.Image copyright

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Protesters gathered in Cairo following the killing of a taxi driver by a police officer

The Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has said that police officers guilty of human rights abuses will face tougher action under new laws.

His remarks follow a protest in Cairo after a taxi driver was shot dead by a policeman during a dispute over a fare.

The case was the latest of many alleged cases of police brutality in Egypt.

The protesters gathered outside the Cairo security directorate on Thursday night and chanted “the interior ministry are thugs”.

The interior ministry had announced earlier that the policeman, who was badly beaten by a crowd after the killing, had been arrested in hospital.

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Crowds carried the coffin of taxi driver Mohamed Ali Sayed Ismail though the streets

A statement from Mr Sisi’s office said he had told Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Gaffar that abuses were carried out by a “number of policemen” and “must be stopped”.

President Sisi said changes to the laws to allow for harsher penalties for police officers would be made within 15 days.

The Egyptian leader has every reason to worry about pubic unrest over police excesses, which were among the factors that led to the revolution of 2011, says the BBC’s Cairo Correspondent Orla Guerin.

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