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Egyptian minister dismantles state security service

Posted by seumasach on March 16, 2011

The Statesman

16th March, 2011

CAIRO, 16 MARCH: Egypt today disbanded its much-feared and hated state security service, shutting down its headquarters and offices throughout the country, conceding one of the main demands of the protesters, who led the recent uprising.

Announcing this the country’s new interior minister Mr Mansour al-Isawy said an official decree had been issued. He also declared that old methods of torture and spying had been made illegal and that the security police would no longer monitor activities in universities and tap telephones.
The Egyptian secret police had earned the ire of the people as the agency was blamed for carrying out tortures and illegal arrests during the 30-years of rule of deposed President Hosni Mubarak.
The former head of the organisation has already been arrested on suspicion of unleashing violence against peaceful protesters, killing about 300 during the 18 days that led to Mubarak’s fall on 11 February.
The much feared former interior minister Mr Habib al-Adly has been put on trial on embezzlement and money laundering charges. The dismantling of the secret police comes ahead of a a referendum on Saturday about constitutional changes in the country. The referrendum seeks to speed legislation on fresh Presidential elections to be held later this year. Most political groups, with the notable exception of the Muslim Brotherhood, object to the calendar as too fast.
Mr Al-Isawy said the country would have a new security body which would focus mainly on combating terrorism. The newly-formed agency is expected to be restricted to safeguarding domestic affairs and combating terrorist threats, and would be set up in the coming days.
The much hated and extremely feared state security service had been nicknamed by Egyptians as the capital of hell. After the recent uprising, the headquarters of the state security service in many governorates were stormed by protesters.

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