Riot police officers stand guard in front of the Cairo Security Directorate, Egypt, February 18, 2016. ©Reuters
Egyptians have staged a protest rally in the capital, Cairo, to voice their anger at a recent police shooting that killed a young taxi driver.
Hundreds of people on Thursday night marched from the headquarters of Cairo’s Security Directorate on Ahmed Maher Hospital, to which the dead body of Mohamed Ali had been transferred, Egyptian journalistOmar Elhady wrote in a tweet.
The Egyptian journalist also posted a video of the protest rally.
The Egyptian Interior Ministry said Thursday that a low-ranking policeman killed the 24-year-old man “by mistake” in Cairo’s impoverished and populated neighborhood of el-Darb al-Ahamr.
The officer “was accompanying his relative to buy some goods and when both were uploading goods to a taxi, they had a fight with the taxi driver,” Cairo’s security directorate said in a statement carried by state-run al-Ahram news website.
“The policeman pulled out his gun to end the fight but a bullet came out by mistake, killing the taxi driver,” the ministry’s statement added.
The off-duty policeman fled the scene and is currently on the run, Abu Bakr Abdel Karim, the spokesman for the ministry, said.
The protest is the latest outburst of anger over police brutality in Egypt, which has been the scene of frequent demonstrations against excessive use of force by security guards.
Egypt’s police force had widely been accused of abuses during former dictator Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year-long rule. Mistreatment at the hands of the law enforcement agents was a major trigger for a revolt that toppled the longtime ruler in 2011.