washingtonpost.com
Looters included undercover Egyptian police, hospitals tell Human Rights Watch

By Leila Fadel
Tuesday, February 1, 2011; 8:36 AM

CAIRO - Human Rights Watch confirmed several cases of undercover police loyal to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime committing acts of violence and looting in an attempt to stoke fear of instability as demonstrations grew stronger Tuesday against the autocratic leader.

Peter Bouckaert, the emergency director at Human Rights Watch, said hospitals confirmed that they received several wounded looters shot by the army carrying police identification cards. They also found several cases of looters and vandals in Cairo and Alexandria with police identification cards. He added that it was "unexplainable" that thousands of prisoners escaped from prisons over the weekend.

"Mubarak's mantra to his own people was that he was the guarantor of the nation's stability. It would make sense that he would want to send the message that without him, there is no safety," Bouckaert said.

Over the past three days, state television has been reporting alarmist news about violence and criminals among the demonstrations in an attempt to discredit the democratic movement.

The rights group's findings came as pro-democracy demonstrators converged on Tahrir Square in Cairo, vowing to bring 1 million people to the streets of Egypt.

More from the Washingon Post

Egypt: Jubilant crowd in Cairo predicts Mubarak's rule soon will end

World: On Mubarak, U.S. charts a delicate course

Jordan: King Abdullah II ousts prime minister, cabinet amid protests

Post a Comment


Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

© 2011 The Washington Post Company