The death of a taxi driver who was shot dead by a junior police officer in Egypt over a minor dispute has sparked anger and protests among ordinary Egyptians.
Hundreds of people have rallied in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, protesting the death of a 24-year-old taxi driver killed by a police officer dressed in civilian clothes.
The excesses of Egypt’s Police and security forces under Hosni Mubarak was one of the main reasons for the 2011 uprising. The other reasons besides security, were an increased demand for food, jobs and a future, from a growing and a connected population.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry described the killing of the young taxi driver who was shot three times in the abdomen and once in the head as a “mistake”.
Ruptly TV YouTube video:
Middle East Eye reports:
Mohammed Adel Ismail Ali, 24, was shot by Mustafa Feto after a verbal altercation that reportedly revolved around the 30 Egyptian pounds ($3.83) fare on the crowded Port Said street.
صورة أخرى لمحمد علي ضحية عنف الشرطة في الدرب الأحمر pic.twitter.com/hkIUwuOerg
— Omar Elhady (@O_Elhady) February 18, 2016
Translation: Another picture of the victim of police violence in Darb al-Ahmar, Mohammed Ali
Local media reported witnesses saying that Feto insulted Ali before shooting him. Videos showed some people gathered at the shooting spot crying and holding up the bloodied piece of cardboard which Ali had fell on after getting shot.
Protesters surrounded the local security directorate building before hundreds more made their way to the Ahmad Maher Hospital after Ali’s body was transferred there, chanting against the killing of a civilian at the hands of a policeman.
“The Ministry of Interior are thugs” the crowd shouted. “You dirty government, you sons of bitches!”
A security cordon was formed around the building, as police forces prevented people from walking in the side roads leading to the site.
The protesters also blocked the main roads, causing huge traffic jams.
The state-run news agency said that Feto, who also owns two clothing stores, was arrested.
However, other reports claimed that Feto was moved to a hospital after being beaten up severely by a group of people.
— القزاز – صحفى مصري (@amrsalama) February 19, 2016
Translation: The ranked policeman that killed the driver in #Darb_alAhmar is called Mustafa Feto and owns two clothing stores in al-Amraniyeh
The Cairo Security Directorate issued a statement late last night revealing further details regarding the dispute between Adel and Feto.
“A quarrel occurred between a taxi driver and the secretary of the transport and communications police force as they were loading goods the latter bought from the region into the car,” the statement read.
“As a result, the policeman took out his weapon to break up the scuffle but a bullet was fired, causing the death of the taxi driver.”
المئات في مسيرة من مديرية أمن القاهرة إلى مستشفى أحمد ماهر حيث يرقد جثمان الشاب محمد علي ضحية الشرطة pic.twitter.com/LHjfucUZsh
— Omar Elhady (@O_Elhady) February 18, 2016
Translation: Hundreds protest from Cairo’s security directorate to the Ahmad Maher Hospital where the body of Mohammed Adel, a victim of police shooting, lies
A statement from the Interior Ministry called the shooting a “mistake”.
The hashtag “Darb al-Ahmar” trended in Egypt as social media users condemned the incident and the abuses of civilians by members of the security forces.
Hisham Hamdi, the advocate general in the Ahmad Maher Hospital, said that the slain driver received three gunshot wounds in the abdomen and the head.
On Friday, the public prosecutor ordered a team of forensic medics to conduct examinations and an autopsy on the body of the slain driver, in order to determine the exact cause of death.
Last week, thousands of doctors protested police harassment and beatings of two of their colleagues in a Cairo hospital, calling for accountability and for a safe environment for medics to operate in.
Under Egyptian law, it is illegal to protest without prior permission from the government.
According to AFP, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he would ask parliament to amend the law to toughen sanctions for police abuses.
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