National Police Force
Following the ousting of former President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013, the development of Egypt’s new constitution began which was to replace the Constitution of 2012 that was adopted under former President Morsi. The new Constitution was adopted in January 2014 which provided for the establishment of a new police force. Specifically, Subsection 5, Article 206 provides for the mandate of the police force which states that:
The police force is a statutory civil body that is in the service of the people. Its loyalty is to the people. It ensures safety and security to its citizens, preserves public order and morality. It is committed to undertake the duties imposed on it by the Constitution and the law, and to respect human rights and basic rights. The state guarantees that members of the police force perform their duties. Guarantees for that are organized by law.
Additionally, Article 207 of the Constitution provides for the establishment of the Supreme Police Council:
The Supreme Police Council is composed from among the most senior officers of the police force and the head of the Legal Opinion Department at the State Council. The Council assists the Minister of Interior in organizing the police force and managing the affairs of its members. Its other competencies are identified by law. It must be consulted in any laws pertaining to it.
Although the Constitution of 2014 establishes the police force as a ‘civil body that is in the service of the people’, it fails to provide oversight and accountability mechanisms to monitor the conduct of police officials. In this regard, the new Constitution has been highly criticized for its failure to provide adequate checks and balances on state power, and for its failure to create an independent system of oversight to promote transparency and accountability within the state.
Accordingly, despite constitutional reform, police in Egypt continue to operate with impunity and have come under intense scrutiny for excessive use of force, extra-judicial killings, and arbitrary arrest and detention of oppositional parties or critics of the current regime.
- Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt of 2014, Article 206 https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Egypt_2014.pdf
- Constitution, Article 207 https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Egypt_2014.pdf
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