Egyptian interior ministry says many off-duty police no longer carry weapons
Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 Apr 2016


Egypt’s interior ministry said it has partially withdrawn arms from many off-duty policemen, amid outcry after a policeman killed one and injured two after a street quarrel reportedly over the price of a cup of tea, on Tuesday.

The incident in the eastern Cairo suburb is the latest in a series of similar police killings that have sparked public anger.

Interior ministry media advisor Abu Bakr Abdel-Karim said on Tuesday that the ministry is in the process of withdrawing weapons from "many" low-ranking policemen, especially “those proved to have misused" them.

He added in comments to a local TV programme that those who might be subjected to danger outside of their working hours will continue to keep their weapons.

Demands for disarming security sources during their non-working hours increased in recent months after a similar incident in February in which a policemen shot dead a driver in the street in an argument over a fare.

Abdel-Karim added that the ministry is continuously evaluating police performance and is taking measures against violations by security personnel. This includes suspension from work, end of service, or severe administrative sanctions.

Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar stressed earlier on Tuesday that “no one is above the law,” adding that the ministry is working towards “purging” itself of violators.

He added that the ministry aims at establishing a new policy of dealing with citizens which “values [their] dignity and preserves their rights.”

The interior ministry said in a statement that Tuesday’s incident occurred after a policeman got into an argument with a street vendor over "the price of a drink" and shot him dead, injuring two others in the process.

The policeman has been ordered detained for four days pending investigations.

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