Egypt’s PM orders suspension of police accused of killing protesters


Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf said Saturday he has ordered the suspension of police officers accused of killing anti-government protesters.

Sharaf also said a commission would be established to expedite the court cases against the officers and others accused of corruption during the administration of former President Hosni Mubarak, the BBC reported.

Sharaf’s pronouncement came as thousands of people convened in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to call for justice in the deaths of 846 people killed during the country’s popular uprising early this year and for a faster pace for political reform.

Sharaf said in a televised address he had “issued direct orders to the interior minister to stop all police officers accused of killing protesters from working” and had “ordered the creation of a panel to review the trials [of those charged with] killing protesters and corruption as soon as possible.”

“The public prosecutor will appeal all rulings acquitting people in those cases,” he said.

Sharaf added a “mechanism for dialogue with all the political forces” also would be created.

The BBC said state media later reported prosecutors in Alexandria as saying they had ordered the detention of three police officers in the case of a man whose relatives say was tortured to death in custody.

The Egyptian news Web site Bikya Masr reported a few thousand demonstrators in Suez had stepped up their protests over trial delays and release of the police officers suspected in the civilian deaths. The crowd marched toward the Suez Canal where one blogger, identified as Shady Ahmed, wrote on his Twitter account that a police officer used a bullhorn to warn them “to not get closer or they will get harmed,” Bikya Masr said.