On 6 December, the Ministry of Interior announced that three individuals were killed when the police were attempting to arrest them on charges of committing assassinations and joining militant groups. The three men were reportedly disappeared and their families accused the police of arresting and detaining them without any information on their whereabouts. Later, the autopsy reports showed signs of torture and assault on the bodies.
The trend of individuals disappearing and showing up dead in police statements has been growing since of the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. The rise in attacks on police and army forces were accompanied by violent reprisals from security forces.
The trend was observed as a phenomenon to deliver “swift justice” at the scene of arrests. In each case, two narratives are present. One comes from the Ministry of Interior, which claims that the victims were either killed in action or attempted to escape.
Human rights organisations have documented dozens of cases accusing the police of extrajudicial killings, while accusing the army of also killing civilians in almost weekly statements declaring the “annihilation of terrorists”.
In its November report, Al-Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence said 87 deaths occurred outside the jurisdiction of the law. The centre said in a previous report that 754 people have been killed so far this year.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Interior often declares that all these casualties are part of well-engineered security operations and the dead individuals are “terrorists” who began firing at the forces first.
The most famous cases were that of five men in Fayoum who were killed in a farm at the same time the new Suez Canal was being inaugurated. Police said the five were conspiring against police and army officers, and attacked the force that was on its way to arrest them. Meanwhile, the families of the victims assert that they were all arrested then executed.