Low-ranking police officers protest low standard of living in Alexandria and Kafr El-Sheikh

Ahram Gate, Ahram Online, Sunday 9 Feb 2014

Tens of officers in Alexandria and 500 in Kafr El-Sheikh demonstrate to demand minimum wage, health care and improved work conditions

Scattered police protests continued in several Egyptian governorates on Sunday, with officers and security personnel demanding higher wages and improved working conditions.

In the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, tens of officers and security personnel gathered in front of the city's security directorate to protest "a low standard of living" brought on by poor working conditions and a lack of a minimum wage, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

A minimum wage of LE700 was set in July 2012 for public sector employees, the first time since the 1980s, but police officers were not included in the legislation.

The police demonstrators in Alexandria also called for better health care for themselves and their families.

Speaking with Al-Ahram, police officer Ayman Ibrahim demanded that all officers, regardless of rank, be treated without discrimination at police hospitals.

Meanwhile, in the Nile Delta city of Kafr El-Sheikh, about 100 km west of Alexandria, around 500 police officers and security personnel continued protests for the second day, blockading the city's police headquarters and preventing security director Abdel El-Natat from entering his office, according to Al-Ahram.

Officers at the demonstration told Al-Ahram that they had previously presented a long list of their demands, namely a salary raise and increasing their monthly risk allowance pay from 30 to 200 percent.

Demonstrators also called for police officers killed or injured to be treated as "revolution martyrs," meaning healthcare provisions and a law that criminalises violence against security personnel.

Further criticisms included the return of "unjust secret reports" monitoring job performance.

The police officers have threatened that they will begin protesting for the removal of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim if their demands are not met.

On Saturday, low-ranking policemen turned out to protest in at least seven governorates, including Cairo's twin city of Giza, where tens demonstrated in front of Giza's security headquarters to demand higher wages and better work conditions.

The protests were in response to calls for continued strikes from the general association for low-ranking police officers, despite a protest law passed last December by Egypt's interim government banning all demonstrations not pre-approved by authorities.

The law has since been used by security forces to crackdown on both secular activists and supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.






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