Are police in Egypt the new Vanguard Party?

Published January 13th, 2013 - 08:16 GMT
Egyptian police are starting a trade union to improve their working conditions
Egyptian police are starting a trade union to improve their working conditions

Egypt's Police Coalition held a forum Friday to discuss means of establishing a police union to defend police working rights.


The meeting, held at the Police Club in Cairo's Nasr City, announced a plan to elect five officers to represent the coalition for each of the governorates of Cairo, Alexandria, Giza, Qalyoubia, Assiut, North Sinai and Qena.

The coalition will further elect sub-committees in other governorates.

The union plans to establish a link of communication between police officers and officials at the Ministry of Interior, reported Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

The meeting also criticised the recent cabinet reshuffle that saw the sacking of Minister of Interior Ahmed Gamal El-Din.

Meanwhile, coalition media coordinator Hesham Saleh told Al-Nahar TV anchor Mahmoud Saad Friday that they were optimistic about the new minister of interior, Mohamed Ibrahim.

Saleh added that the aim behind the creation of a union is to establish a legal entity within the interior ministry that unites the police apparatus and work on developing the ministry.

"They [police officers] know better than others how to purge and reconstruct [the ministry]," added Saleh, who criticised the media for not offering police offciers a platform to speak.

Many observers believe that widespread police brutality in Egypt was one of the main causes behind the eruption of the January 25 Revolution.

Clashes between protesters and the police during the 18-day uprising against the Mubarak's regime left around 840 protesters dead and more than 6,000 injured.

Saleh promised that "the police has changed after the revolution," adding that the police has lost around 165 of its members since January 2011.

Nevertheless, a recent report published by the Cairo-based Nadim Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture recorded 34 cases of death, 88 cases of torture, and seven cases of sexual assault at the hands of the Egyptian police during President Mohamed Morsi's first 100 days in office.


© Copyright Al-Ahram Publishing House

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