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Egypt's Interior minister agrees to arm low-ranking officers

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim has agreed to 19 demands made by low-ranking police officers, including arming them with pistols to 'combat dangerous criminals'

Ahram Online, Saturday 16 Feb 2013
Interior minister
Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim (Photo: Ahram Arabic News Website)
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Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim has agreed to arm low-ranking police officers and personnel "to combat dangerous criminals," among 19 other accepted demands the officers had been on strike action for since Tuesday.

Ibrahim agreed to allocate 100,000 pistols to low-ranking officers and personnel, ostensibly to allow them to protect themselves during riots.

Several police officers were reportedly killed in recent clashes with protesters. Tens of citizens have have also been reported killed and rights organisations in Egypt have also frequently condemned police brutality. 

Ibrahim also agreed to cancel all existing penalties and disciplinary military trials for police personnel.

In addition, the interior ministry agreed to facilitate administrative requirements for low-ranking personnel to be promoted, and is planning to accept 1500 low-ranking officers for the "officers of honour" cadre.

Ibrahim has also formed a special committee to look into increasing end-of-service rewards for low-ranking officers. 

Another committee will be formed to develop the healthcare system provided by the ministry to all police personnel and their families, as well as establishing more hospitals.

Low-ranking police officers had protested the treatment they receive in the ministry's hospitals, complaining that higher officers receive free medical care while they, as low-ranking personnel, have to rely on Egypt's health insurance system.  

Ibrahim has also agreed to purchase 120 residential apartments for officers and police personnel in Northern Sinai and approved forming a cooperative association in different security directorates to work on offering residences to police personnel

The General Coalition for Police Personnel and Conscripts had announced Tuesday that its members would go on strike in over 10 governorates nationwide until their demands were met.

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