Rights groups: Curb police violence

March 2, 2013 at 5:44 PM

CAIRO, March 2 (UPI) -- Human rights groups urged the Egyptian government Saturday to investigate police violence in Port Said.

Three Egyptian groups, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and the Alkarama Foundation, and Human Rights Watch issued a report on violence in the city, which they said was based on a three-day investigatory trip, Egypt Independent reported.

Also Saturday, protesters set a Port Said police station ablaze after five people were run down by a squad car, Ahram Online reported. Witnesses said shots were fired into the air from the car, which then crashed.

Big protests kicked off in Port Said after 26 people were sentenced to death for killing 72 people following a soccer match last year. Two police officers and 40 civilians have been killed since then.

The rights groups called for changes in police procedures and command structures.

"President Mohamed Morsi should publicly acknowledge that the police's right to use lethal force is not unlimited, even when they come under attack, and order the police to limit any use of force to what is strictly necessary," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

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