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Egypt restores feared secret police units Military-backed government seems to have no intent of reforming practices that characterised both Mubarak and Morsi eras

Egypt's interim government was accused of attempting to return the country to the Mubarak era on Monday, after the country's interior ministry announced the resurrection of several controversial police units that were nominally shut down following the country's 2011 uprising and the interim prime minister was given the power to place the country in a state of emergency.

Egypt's state security investigations service, Mabahith Amn ad-Dawla, a wing of the police force under President Mubarak, and a symbol of police oppression, was supposedly closed in March 2011 – along with several units within it that investigated Islamist groups and opposition activists. The new national security service (NSS) was established in its place.

But following Saturday's massacre of at least 83 Islamists, interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim announced the reinstatement of the units, and referred to the NSS by its old name. He added that experienced police officers sidelined in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution would be brought back into the fold.

This is what the all new and improved democratic revolution in Egypt looks like. The military supported and sustained authoritarian governments for over 60 years. Leopards find it difficult to change their spots. I would not put any bets on a glorious era of secular democracy emerging from the current "interim" process.

Originally posted to Richard Lyon on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by More and Better Democracies.

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