Egypt's minister of interior announces 'biggest' police reshuffle in its history
Reshuffle includes the removal of nearly 600 officers, including some of those accused of killing protesters during the early days of the revolution
Zeinab El Gundy, Wednesday 13 Jul 2011
Egypt’s minister of interior, Mansour El-Eissawi, has described his ministry’s reshuffle as "the biggest" in its history. The reshuffle covers 4,000 police officers according to the minister who stated that the ministry ended the service of 505 major-generals and brigadier-generals and 82 colonels. These include 18 major-generals and 9 brigadier-generals accused of killing protesters.
This minister of interior announced the reshuffle today in a press conference after meeting with Prime Minister Essam Sharaf earlier this morning.
El-Eissawi revealed that 18 police officers accused of killing protesters during the first days of the January 25 uprising were purged from the force. Another 54 police officers accused of killing protesters were reassigned duties that do not require interaction with the public.
During the press conference, El-Eissawi denied rumours that Alaa and Gamal Mubarak had escaped from Tora prison.
He also defended the role of the police in the revolution, claiming that the ministry does not have snipers and that as policemen were already absent from the streets from 28 January they could not have been involved in the shooting of protesters from that date.
The Ministry of Interior is accused of placing snipers on roof tops around Tahrir Square during the uprising to shoot protesters. The ministry denies the allegations.
This reshuffle comes amid demands from protesters all over the country for the purging of police officers accused of shooting or authorising the death of citizens and the appointment of a new minister of interior without a background in the force.
Last Monday, Prime Minister Sharaf announced an imminent reshuffle in the ministry of interior and the purging for all police officers currently accused of killing protesters as well their colleagues suspected to practice torture.
Despite El-Eissawi’s denial that this would happen as it contravened the law, confirmed that the police reshuffle will be announced this week.
The General Coalition of Police Officers attacked the decision in a statement issued on its Facebook page. The coalition had staged a protest last Sunday against Sharaf’s announcement of a reshuffle.