Egyptian police violence sparks concern

March 8, 2013 at 10:18 AM
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PARIS, March 8 (UPI) -- A global rights group said Egyptian police are clinging to a mentality from the Hosni Mubarak regime with their use of force against protesters.

Two policemen were among the half dozen reported dead following clashes in Port Said, Egypt this week. The Interior Ministry said the policemen were killed by gunfire, while at least three civilians reportedly died as a result of severe head trauma.

The International Federation for Human Rights, known by its French initials FIDH, said it was alarmed by the violence in Port Said and called for an independent investigation into the latest events.

"This is not the first time security forces respond with an excessive use of force," said FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen in a statement. "We are seeing a continuation of the Mubarak-era police regime, with no intention to either reform the security forces sector, nor investigate the abuses perpetrated by security forces during demonstrations."

A court Saturday is expected to rule on the fate of defendants on trial for their role in deadly 2012 football violence, which left at least 70 people dead.

Riots erupted following a preliminary court ruling sentencing some of the accused rioters to death in January. Those protests left dozens of people dead.

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