Tags: Arab Spring | Egypt Unrest | egypt | police | strike | minister

Egyptian Police Strike, Seek Interior Minister's Ouster

Thursday, 14 Feb 2013 05:00 AM


CAIRO — Thousands of Egyptian riot police and conscripts have gone on strike to demand the interior minister's resignation, saying he is too close to the country's Islamist leadership, security sources said on Wednesday.

The action takes place after security forces and anti-government demonstrators have clashed in the capital and other cities. At least 59 people were killed in protests between Jan. 25, second anniversary of the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, and Feb. 4.

The strikers, mostly conscripts but led by police officers, say Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim is "in thrall to the Islamist president" and must resign, said a general at the Cairo security directorate, who declined to give his name.

Another officer also told Reuters that Ibrahim, who is a general, was too close to President Mohamed Morsi.

They were also upset that he had directed the state security force to protect the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's dominant political group.

The Interior Ministry confirmed that some police officers and soldiers were on strike and said it had told commanders to listen to their demands.

The ministry said the cause of the strike was that riot police erroneously believed the government planned to ban demonstrations which would pitch them into confrontation with protesters.

Pro-opposition daily Al Masry Al Youm splashed pictures of a rare police demonstration on its front page on Wednesday. It said officers were protesting against the "Brotherhoodization" of the ministry and demanding legal changes and danger money for having to deal with political violence.

A police major, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media, said: "Ibrahim is not neutral and has given orders to police to guard the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

"He does not work to represent the interests of his personnel," the major said.

The riot police feel they are dragged into politics by being forced to confront protesters during mass rallies, he said.

"This ends up stoking hatred between the ministry and the people," the major said.

The strikes have spread to state security camps in Daqahliya, Gharbiya, Sharqiya, Menya and Damietta provinces, the security sources said.

The Interior Ministry has been at the forefront of clashes involving protesters, mainly young, who complain that Morsi has done little to reform the police since Mubarak was ousted two years ago.

Police and security officials were involved in the torture of detainees in the Mubarak era, according to human rights groups and activists.

Police reform was a demand of the 2011 revolution but no police officer has been punished for the deaths of around 850 protesters during the uprising.

Both the general and the major said the riot police personnel have demanded that former Interior Minister General Ahmed Gamal be reinstated as he was more neutral.

On Tuesday, hundreds of policemen demonstrated outside the security directorate in the port city of Alexandria, most wearing civilian clothes, to demand that Ibrahim step down.

"The people demand the reform of the Interior Ministry," they chanted. "Leave, leave, Ibrahim!"

Video footage circulated earlier this month showed a protester beaten and dragged naked across the ground by policemen during a protest in front of the presidential palace.

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

US-Led Fight Against ISIS Will Be 'Long War': Iraqi Kurd Leader

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 06:55 AM

Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani warned that despite victories in the war against Islamic State, the global coal . . .

Israel Plans to Build 430 New Homes on West Bank

Friday, 30 Jan 2015 05:14 AM

The Israeli government on Friday published notices to build 430 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, the head of . . .

US-Led Airstrikes Slam ISIS Targets in Syria and Iraq

Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 22:20 PM

The United States and coalition partners launched six airstrikes against Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria and 12 mo . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved