Egypt's Interior minister vows to abolish military trials for police

Ahram Online, Sunday 11 Mar 2012

At Sunday press conference, interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim promises to do away with practice of referring police officers who disobey superiors to military courts

Egyptian Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim announced on Sunday that he would abolish the practice of referring police officers accused of defying superiors to military courts, saying he planned to replace the practice with a "disciplinary council" for police.

Ibrahim's statements came in response to months of demonstrations by police throughout the country to demand that the practice be done away with.

The minister also noted that the interior ministry on Thursday had referred three draft articles to the Egyptian Cabinet's legislative committee, which would be sent on to parliament  for discussion before being incorporated into a new Police act.

The first draft article has to do with salary allowances for police, which have remained unchanged for more than 30 years. The second has to do with providing job security for police officers, while the third calls for the abolition of the practice of referring police to military courts.

At Sunday's press conference, held at interior ministry headquarters in downtown Cairo, Ibrahim declared that 15 policemen had been killed and 188 injured during the period from 7 December last year to the present.

He also said that the total number of killed and injured policemen had reached 1255 since November's Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes between demonstrators and security forces.

He neglected to mention, however, the dozens of civilians killed or injured during the same period.

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