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Egypt policemen continue their protest for fourth day

With their demands for the Ministry of Interior to be reformed and purged of convicted former minister Habib El-Adly's appointees, non-commissioned officers refuse to give in to pressure to end their strike

Ahram Online, Thursday 27 Oct 2011
Egyptian sergeants
Egyptian sergeants (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
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Angry non-commissioned police officers have decided to continue their strike for the fourth day despite a statement by the General Coalition of Police Officers slamming their actions.

The Coalition released an official statement early today in which it announced that it does not support the open-ended strike held by the policemen, insisting that it is “unprofessional” and “disrupts public interest.”

The unranked policemen, have, nevertheless, opted to ignore the Coalition’s stance and continue with their strike. They also insisted that their demands are not factional and go beyond being economic. The strike has drawn attention to the policemen’s complaint against the injustice they endure at work and the mistreatment suffered daily under their superiors.

The strike has been ongoing since Monday when more than 10,000 non-commissioned police officers began protesting in front of the Ministry of Interior. They threatened to begin an open ended strike and not securing the upcoming parliamentary elections. This would leave the process more vulnerable to transgressions and violence incited by hired thugs. A separate strike was also launched in Cairo International Airport. This ended Wednesday after the minister of interior set a timetable for meeting their demands.

The policemen, who earn between LE400 to LE600, are demanding better pay and working conditions, promotions based on fair criteria, proper healthcare and equal pay and workload as well as better working hours.

Prominent among their demands is the removal of Interior Minister Mansour El-Eissawy, who was appointed last March, from his position. The protesting policemen also want to see the interior ministry purged of convicted former minister Habib El-Adly’s men.

On Tuesday, the ministry announced that it had responded to at least 90 per cent of the policemen’s demands, leading the Coalition of Police Officers to call for an end to the protest. The next day, however, the protests continued with the policemen saying that while the minister agreed to meet some of their demands, he ignored the most important one concerning the purging of the ministry. 

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