17 February 2015
A stampede at a Cairo stadium earlier this month, much like a politically-loaded football brawl in the Suez Canal city of Port Said three years ago, is shining a spotlight on Egypt’s unreformed, unabashedly violent, and politically powerful police and security forces amid confusion over what precisely happened and how many fans died.
Amid security forces holding fans and fans holding police responsible, and conflicting assertions of the number of people who died in the incident one thing stands out: the deep-seated distrust and animosity between significant segments of the Egyptian public and an unreformed security force that was long the hated symbol of the regime of toppled president Hosni Mubarak; played a key role in persuading the military in 2013 to overthrow Egypt’s first and only democratic elected president; and has since left a bloody of brutal violence as evidenced by the deaths of some 1,400 anti-government protesters in the last 19 months.
In a report,Amnesty International underlined this week the persistent lack of accountability of Egypt’s security forces. The Egyptian government has, as of yet, failed to hold any security officers accountable for these killings. A fact-finding committee established by former interim president Adly Mansour to investigate the killings also failed to hold any security officer accountable for these killings. It noted that the stadium deaths came barely two weeks after the killing of Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh by security forces sparked widespread outrage.
…James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies as Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 18/02/2015