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Egypt suspends 280 police officers for alleged human rights violations

[JURIST] Egyptian Deputy Interior Minister Hamid Rashid [ministry website, in Arabic] Sunday announced the suspension and investigation of 280 police officers alleged to have abused their power and committed human rights violations. In a statement before the Egyptian Parliament, Rashid said as many as 1,164 police officers have already been fired [AP report] for similar reasons.

Egypt has recently come under increased scrutiny [JURIST archive] on human rights issues, with the conduct of Egyptian police and security services being especially criticized. In April, an Egyptian appeals court overturned the jail sentence [JURIST reports] of an Al Jazeera [media website] television reporter convicted for her role in producing a film on police torture. In November 2007 two police officers were sentenced to three years in prison [JURIST report] for sodomizing and beating detainee Emad el-Kabir while videoing the incident on a cell phone. Egyptian bloggers later posted the video on the Internet. In April 2007, Amnesty International released a report [text; JURIST report] criticizing Egypt for systematic human rights abuses of detainees in its police stations, military camps and centers run by State Security Investigations.

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