Egyptians have surrounded the Interior Ministry in Egypt and have been making attempts to take control of the building. The Egyptian people's commitment to taking this building over would be a tremendous sign of people power. The Interior Ministry has been a prime purveyor of police brutality, torture, and state repression under President Hosni Mubarak.
The following, posted on Al Nadeem, is but one story of brutality that has been allowed to become a normal facet of Egyptian society:
Sunday, the 6th of June at 11.30 p.m., young Khaled Said, 28 years old, from Alexandria was in a internet cafe' in the district of Cleopatra when a group of police informers entered the cafe' and started inquiring about the internet users. When they reached Khaled they tried to search him. He refused and asked for the reason. We shall not address the flood of abuses that were thrown by the police, nor shall we go into the details of the search that resulted in the theft of Khaled's money, nor the details of the beating that followed inside and outside the cafe'.. the only relevant details is that Khaled's life ended by the hands of the Sidi Gaber policemen.. for no reason, for no crime, with no rationale other than the ruthless, senseless brutality, thuggery and criminality of a regime served by a ministry of interior whose forces are systematically using torture, confident that they are above the law, accountable to no one.
Suffice it to say that Khaled Said entered the internet cafe' a handsome young man and by the end of the day he was a lifeless body, brutally and monstrously killed by the trained criminals of the Egyptian ministry of Interior.
In the aftermath of the incident, the Interior Ministry did not apologize. It did not own up to its actions. The Interior Minister was not impeached or removed from power. On the contrary, ten youth including two women who were protesting were arrested by police and prosecuted for expressing opposition to the Interior Ministry.
WikiLeaks cables released on Egypt provide specific details on how the Interior Ministry has been granted "broad powers" by the Egyptian government:
Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, EGYPT has almost continuously been under a State of Emergency. The State of Emergency allows for the application of the Emergency Law of 1958, which grants the government broad powers to restrict civil liberties by acting outside the civil and criminal codes. Article 3 of the Emergency Law allows the president to order "placing restrictions on personal freedom of assembly, movement, residence, traffic in specific areas at specific times," and "the arrest of suspects or individuals threatening public security and order," and arrests and searches without implementation of the law of criminal procedures..." In practice, the Interior Ministry carries out "the order" of the President either orally or in writing. Article 3 also authorizes surveillance of personal messages and confiscation of publications"