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Wednesday, 04 August 2021

Egyptian police protest demanding their rights

Low-ranking police officers say they have one of the worst occupations in terms of rights

Salma Shukrallah, Sunday 13 Feb 2011

On Sunday around one thousand policemen demonstrated at the entrance of the street leading to the Ministry of Interior in downtown Cairo, demanding that they are also given their rights.

Military tanks and guards sealed off the road leading to the ministry as demonstrators shouted “one hand”, referring to the unity that should exist between the protestors and the army. “One hand” was the slogan used by anti-Mubarak demonstrators when the Egyptian army took to the streets, to stress that the army will not stand against the will of its people.

In the police protest, one demonstrator carried a banner saying “police refuse court-martial”. When asked, a protestor who refused to give his name, explained that police guards are susceptible to court-martial if they object to anything.

Khaled Mohi, a low-ranking police officer, says “They fired 800 of us and we cannot object. If we complain about anything we are immediately transferred to a court-martial. We are paid very low salaries and we don't have any insurance. When the demonstrations started we were the ones attacked, while the high-ranking officers were sitting in their offices. We are not allowed any holidays and if we are absent more than 15 days we are immediately fired”

In an attempt to disperse the demonstrators, the army fired their guns in the air and everyone started running before they quickly stopped and returned back to their location and to their chants. In another attempt the army sprayed huge amounts of smoke that covered the area of the protest for no more than a minute, but the attempt failed again and the demonstrators continued.

At the same time, two thousand policemen and officers have held a protest in front of  Dokki police station against Habib El Adly, the former minister of the interior.

The protest began in front of  the Police station in Dokki and progressed to Tahrir Square. The protesters demanded an improvement in their working conditions and accused El Adly of spreading corruption in the country and ruining the Ministry of the Interior.

In Mehwar Road, another 350 policemen also protested against the ministry.

Egypt's police was a primary target of anti-Mubarak demonstrators during the 25th of January revolt. The 25th of January, Egypt's Police Day, was initially chosen as a day of anger against police brutality although it eventually turned into an anti-regime uprising.

After the 28th of January, the Egyptian police almost completely disappeared from the streets of Cairo, after several police stations and officers were attacked during the uprising, but started slowly appearing a couple of days later.


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