The Strong Message Behind President Sisi’s Visit to Egypt’s Young Police Cadets

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s visit to the Police Academy yesterday, reaffirmed the crucial role played by Egypt’s police force in guaranteeing the safety and security of Egypt’s citizens. The President’s statement highlighted that Egypt’s police defends the homeland every day with honour, dedication and perseverance and that their solid value-system guarantees that they will succeed in their mission. The strong ties between Egypt’s people and their police forces and army was an important theme in the statement, which called for even more solidarity and unity in the face of challenges, enjoining Egypt’s young cadets to always strive to treat citizens as brothers. In addition, the President thanked them for their daily sacrifices, honouring those who lost their lives in the fight against terrorism.

President Sisi’s statement also highlighted that upholding the rule of law through punishing wrongdoers was essential to preserve the police’s valuable and honourable role in society. He asserted that any infringements by members of the police are individual incidents that will not be tolerated. The President’s statement simultaneously stressed that when individual wrongdoings take place, they should not be generalised. Such actions should not affect the strong relations and trust between the Egyptian people and their police forces.

The significance of this statement, which comes against the backdrop of the on-going judicial investigation of two alleged cases of police torture, is two-fold. First, it demonstrates Egypt’s unwavering commitment, at the highest level, to guaranteeing accountability. The fact that individual violations are now being investigated before the competent judicial authorities clearly indicates that Egypt will not stand for impunity. Egypt, with all its branches of government, is committed to upholding the fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed in its constitution, legislation and international human rights obligations.

Simultaneously, and equally importantly, President Sisi’s statement underscores that individual breaches should be treated as no more than just that. They are aberrations and should not be generalized to tarnish the image of Egypt’s professional and courageous police force. As affirmed by the Ministry of Interior in a statement earlier this week, individual transgressions should not undermine the honorable history of the Egyptian police, which has sacrificed many of its men in order to ensure that every Egyptian citizen feels secure. This is the great mission of Egypt’s police, a mission the President himself has called upon cadets to fulfil with integrity, impartiality and a sense of justice.

Egypt’ police have dedicated their lives to protecting Egyptians, their lives and their property. The grave risks they endure every day in the face of terrorism represent the highest level of commitment to the country’s service. As President Sisi said in his statement, they have and will continue to set an example of professionalism and sacrifice, in spite of the numerous challenges they face.

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