Egypt: Make Mubarak’s Trial a Turning Point

What Egypt needs in the next months is a public reckoning of this broader legacy, including strategic prosecutions and truth mechanisms. But this needs to be part of a systematic process, and not just ad hoc responses to anger on the street. It is only through investigation and prosecution of the key Interior Ministry officers who ordered, oversaw and failed to prevent torture and police abuse over the years that the law can begin to function as it should. What Egypt needs is to reverse the balance of power between the law and the police, and Mubarak’s trial is the best place to start.

Egyptians were glued to their TV screens yesterday as the trial of the deposed President Hosni Mubarak opened. Friends gathered at each other’s houses, and some coffee shops put up large screens to accommodate crowds who had risen painfully early to eat before they began fasting.

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