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Hundreds of Egyptian police officers, central security forces, detectives and rescue workers began an open-ended strike on Thursday by Tanta's security office.
Major Ahmed al-Hateemy said that their demands include the sacking of the interior minister, amendment of Article 199 of the constitution and independence from the presidency.
They announced their rejection of, what they described as, the "Brotherhoodization" of the police apparatus.
Meanwhile, central security recruits had started strikes in different locations in Tanta, demanding that they be equipped to face acts of violence and thuggery and for their victims to be treated like the uprising's "martyrs".
The protesters threatened of escalations including refraining from protecting public installations and police offices while several security groups have announced their solidarity.
They forced a Al-Jazeera television team out of the strike, accusing the Qatari-owned channel of defaming the image of the interior ministry.
This content is from :Aswat Masriya
A Port-Saïd, ville du nord-est de l'Egypte où s'affrontent depuis des semaines manifestants et forces de l'ordre, la haine de la police est telle que des habitants disent vouloir s'en débarrasser, certains appelant même l'armée à la remplacer.
"Ce n'est peut-être pas un vrai commissariat, mais cela montre notre ressentiment" envers une police traditionnelle déconsidérée, affirme Mohammed Hachem, un ingénieur de 40 ans.
Nombreux sont ceux qui accusent des policiers liés à l'ancien régime ou des partisans du président renversé, d'avoir orchestré le drame afin d'aggraver le climat d'instabilité dans le pays.
Près d'un an après la tragédie, en janvier dernier, 21 personnes, en majorité des supporteurs du club de Port-Saïd, ont été condamnées à mort pour cette affaire.
The Shura Councils human rights committee asked the Interior Minister to reinstate bearded officers on Tuesday since growing facial hair is a religious right.
The use of police dogs in attacks against labor actions have been documented by activists and workers, who say that this is a part of a host of heavy handed crackdown and punitive actions used against them recently.
Among the most recent crackdowns was the storming of the Portland-Titan Cement Company in Alexandria by security forces on 17 February.
Central Security Forces armed with clubs, electric prods and attack dogs –– an unprecedented incident –– conducted an early morning raid in which tens of workers were injured, five of these workers have been reported to have sustained serious injuries, including broken bones, and cuts.
Security forces arrested 87 workers who were striking and occupying their company’s administrative building. Eighteen of these workers remain in police custody pending investigations, while the other workers have since been released. (Egypt independent)
Plusieurs policiers barbus font appel au président, en Egypte, pour qu’il leur vienne en aide. Se laisser pousser la barbe n’est pas anodin, c’est un signe religieux pour les islamistes. Et depuis la révolution de 2011, les policiers portant la barbe ont été suspendus. Ils réclament leur réintégration. “Rien dans la loi ou la Constitution ne défend notre droit, explique l’un d’entre eux, alors nous nous sommes tournés vers la justice. Finalement, la Cour suprême a décidé que nous pouvions reprendre notre travail. Nous demandons maintenant au président de faire appliquer cette décision pour en finir avec cette crise”.
Plusieurs centaines de personnes ont manifesté vendredi au Caire pour soutenir les policiers, mais le ministère égyptien de l’Intérieur n’a pas encore voulu trancher. “Accepter que les policiers se laissent pousser la barbe ou non, cela peut apparaître comme un enjeu purement esthétique, explique Mohamed Shaikhibrahim, le correspondant d’Euronews en Egypte, mais en fait, il s’agit bien d’un conflit entre deux approches politiques très différentes de la société égyptienne”.
Since the start of 2013, rights groups have been reporting an increase in police brutality towards children.
"It is definitely a way of frightening people...the number of children taken by security forces and the manner in which they are detained is unprecedented in my experience," says Ghada Shahbender of the Egyptian Organisation of Human Rights.
She explains that roughly around a third of the recent political prisoners are underage, normally from an impoverished background.
This is certainly true of Abdel-Rahman who is the breadwinner of his family, despite being 13 years old. He, his mother and his five siblings squeeze into a flat no larger than an average-sized living room in Alexandria. According to Abdel-Meneem, his two week disappearance had financial consequences as well as emotional ones.
Abdel-Rahman was detained with 14-year-old bone cancer patient Mahmoud Adel whose story hit international headlines after the judge initially refused to allow him chemotherapy.
Both boys, who say they were bystanders to the Alexandrian demonstration, were only released after significant pressure from rights groups like the Egyptian Organisation of Human Rights.
Police brutality against children
For Abdel-Meneem, not knowing the location of her son, Abdel-Rahman, was one of the most traumatising aspects of her son's disappearance. Typically, no effort is made by Egyptian security forces to contact the children's parents when the arrest occurs.
She spoke of trawling police stations for days and eventually attempting to take food to her son at the Alexandrian Security Directorate, where she was initially refused entry.
The children themselves are threatened with violence if they try to make contact with anyone.
Abdel-Rahman, who appears visibly distressed and had to be coaxed by his family members to relate his story, recalled hearing friends shouting his name as they ran behind the Central Security Forces (CSF) truck that transported the boy and other inmates to an unknown location.
"The officer said if we try to call out to our friends and family they would beat us… so we stayed quiet."
There was a seven-year-old boy in one of the cells where he was kept together with adults, Abdel-Rahman added. "My parents didn't know that I was taken away."
There are dozens of children left in prison because the parents do not have relations with resources to find their missing sons and daughters, the boy asserted, while tentatively pointing to the places on his body where he was beaten by security forces.
Abdel-Rahman claimed he was not subjected to the electrocutions and sexual assault that rights groups and victims say inmates, including children, are often subjected to. (Ahram Onlne)
Près de 200 personnes ont manifesté vendredi au Caire pour réclamer la réintégration de policiers suspendus pour s'être laissé pousser la barbe, considérée comme un signe de piété par de nombreux islamistes.
"Nous protestons parce que nous avons été suspendus à cause de nos barbes", a déclaré à l'AFP Mohammed Salah, l'un des policiers.
"Où sont les droits des officiers portant la barbe?", demandait une pancarte, tandis que des sympathisants enthousiastes portaient un policier barbu en uniforme sur leurs épaules.
Plusieurs policiers ont été suspendus à travers l'Egypte pour s'être laissé pousser la barbe et certains ont porté l'affaire devant la justice.(AFP, via Aufait)Plus : http://www.aufaitmaroc.com/monde/afrique/2013/3/1/egypte-manifestation-pour-la-reintegration-de-policiers-barbus_206957.html#.UTGNh3xvwiY
Bearded police officers protested in Abdeen on Friday, calling on President Mohamed Morsy to implement the administrative court’s ruling allowing them to be reinstated. They were joined by members of the Nour Party and Jama’a al-Islamiya.
The Interior Ministry had suspended the officers from service due to their facial hair, which was against the ministry’s dress code.
Protesters said the decision is now in Morsy’s hands, as the head of the Supreme Council of Police. They said they would end their protest in Abdeen on Friday evening to continue their sit-in at the Interior Ministry on Sheikh Rehan Street for the fourth day.
The protesters raised banners that read: "Mr. President, you promised that none would be oppressed under the state of law," and, "We want to return to our work based on our judiciary rulings."
The protesters chanted: "The people want bearded officers," and "Oh bearded officers, by God [we swear] we will not keep silent."
Brigadier General Yasser Gomaa, head of the bearded police officers' coalition, said they were happy with the solidarity of a number of political forces, including the Nour Party and Jama’a al-Islamiya.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt independent)
Violent clashes broke out on Wednesday in Damietta between security forces fending a police station and family members of a dead victim who seek vengeance from the murderer who is arrested in the station.
An Aswat Masriya witness said that the police forces fired gunshots and teargas bombs to disperse the raged family members who want to take the law into their own hands. He said that the situation keeps getting worse.
This content is from :Aswat Masriya
Dozens of bearded police officers staged a protest Tuesday outside the Interior Ministry headquarters in downtown Cairo, holding banners calling on the ministry to respect a judicial ruling ordering their return to work.
Police officers asserting their right to grow facial hair won a victory when the Supreme Administrative Court in Cairo turned down the interior minister's challenge to a previous court ruling ordering the dismissed officers reinstated.
An Interior Ministry source argued that the Administrative Court's ruling had nothing to do with the officers' right to grow their beards. (Egypt independent)
Egypt's Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said on Saturday that there is no direction for what is known as "Brotherhoodization" of the police. He said that the representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood's 'Guidance Office' do not attend the meetings of the Supreme Council of the police.
In an interview with a local newspaper, Ibrahim commented on the situation in Port Said before the hearing sentence in the case of the stadium, saying, "The situation was quite delicate; it worsened until it developed into a sit-in in front of the prison by the revolutionary forces and the families of the defendants to prevent their deportation. The court's insistence on deporting them meant violent clashes and the fall of casualties, especially with the presence of about 37 soldiers of the Central Security forces."
He added, "Storming inside the prison was not easy to deal with. It was like a flood rushing towards the prison, in addition to those who infiltrated the crowd and boarded the roofs buildings surrounding the prison, firing at everyone...the police and the people. They were planning to smuggle high-risk criminals."
Ibrahim denounced the accusations of brutality to the ministry of interior, saying, "If that is true, then why do hundreds of soldiers and officers stand to be attacked for hours when we could surround and capture the protesters in ten minutes?...We are committed to self-restraint despite the petrol bombs and the rubber-bullets."
Regarding the case of the dead activist Mohammed Al-Gindi, the Minister of Interior said, "There is nothing more to be said after the results of the investigations of public prosecution, hearing witnesses and forensic autopsy. The police face a systematic scheme to break it."
As for the protests by members of the police force, Ibrahim said that their demands are legitimate, and that the ministry is trying its best to meet their demands, pointing out that the financial resources are currently limited.
This content is from :Aswat Masriya
In response to claims by protesters and civil groups that the police use live ammunition, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) published segments of resolutions which govern the arming of security forces.
The EIPR found that by law police are allowed to carry a substantial amount of live ammunition both on their person and within their vehicles. This statement contradicts the official position taken by the Ministry of Interior, which has claimed security forces do not use live ammunition and has said security forces are inadequately armed.
The law the EIPR referred to is the ministerial decree 156 of 1964 on the regulation and use of firearms. Under this decree police officers are permitted to use live ammunition to disperse protesters. Combined with the third administrative decree of 2007, which regulates the arming of Central Security Forces (CSF) and private security, as well as the third administrative decree from 2000 which regulates the arming of public security forces, the EIPR concluded that all formations of security include a certain amount of live ammunition, and that all vehicles used by these forces contain a wealth of live ammunition.
Every police officer, EIPR pointed out, also carries a 9mm pistol with live ammunition.
The EIPR, the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights, the Nadim Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information filed a case against the implementation of these laws in February 2012. The case, according to EIPR, will be brought to the Administrative Court on 26 February. (Daily news Egypt)
By ROBERT MACKEY/The NY Times
More than two years after tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets on Police Day to demand the resignation of Hosni Mubarak and an end to impunity for the security forces, activists report that civilians continue to be raped, tortured and killed in police custody.
As one of the protesters who marched that day, Adel Abdel Ghafar, recalled ina post for The Lede last year, anger over routine police brutality was a catalyst from the first day of Egypt’s revolution. “Several groups were mobilizing on this day, including fellow members of the Facebook page We Are All Khaled Said,” Mr. Ghafar wrote. “Khaled Said had been brutally murdered by policemen in Alexandria on June 6, 2010 in broad daylight, and it disgusted me how the Mubarak regime had so blatantly tried to cover up his death.”
On Thursday, Sherief Gaber, a member of Cairo’s Mosireen film collective,drew attention to a harrowing new video report from the group, presenting vivid testimony from minors about the violence they endured and witnessed after they were arrested during recent protests.
'We're confused about who we are now,' one officer says. Does Morsi 'want the police to fight thugs and criminals, or crush the street protests against him?'
The young policeman with scuffed boots and sleepless eyes sat on a motorcycle in a neighborhood that no longer feared or respected him.
Opposition parties blame the police for torturing and killing activists and protesters. Human rights groups have criticized Morsi for not reforming the Interior Ministry, which often adheres to Mubarak-era brutality, including the recent televised beating of a man who was stripped naked and dragged by police through the street.
Acquaintances of a family killed by the police on Tuesday held a protest in Al-Shoon Square in Mahalla on Wednesday, calling for the punishment of police officers who killed the family.
The group performed the funeral prayers for the family before they headed to the square, said Mohamed Abdel Wahab, spokesperson for 6 April Movement in Mahalla
Police officers opened fire at the family as they approached a security checkpoint in Mahalla-Samanood road, leaving the whole family dead. Police were looking for a stolen vehicle similar in description to the family’s car. Mahmoud Haroun, activist and resident of Mahalla, claimed that police opened fire on the car instantly as it came within range, without warning the driver or asking him to stop. Abdel Wahab affirmed Haroun’s claims.
The four killed were two parents, one of their sons, and a relative.
A couple of weeks ago, Egypt’s renowned intellectual Dr. Fahmy Howeidy summarized a study I conducted earlier on security sector reform (SSR) in Egypt. Howeidy was trying to highlight an important fact: the availability of the SSR “know-how” in Egypt, whether in this study or in others. What Dr. Howeidy probably did not know was that the study and other related initiatives were earlier submitted to several Egyptian officials. Interest in such studies/initiative was definitely there. Capacity to implement them is another story.
The presidency’s approach to SSR was so far gradual, not revolutionary; working within the rules of the system rather than fundamentally altering them. Far from “ikhwanization” (Brotherhoodization) of the Police, President Mursi appointed General Khaled Tharwat, as the new head of the National Security Apparatus (NSA) in October 2012. General Tharwat comes from the very core of the notorious State Security Investigations (SSI). He used to head “Internal Activity,” the general administration in charge of monitoring and investigating civil society groups, political parties, and media outlets. At one point, he was also heading the “Countering Brotherhood Activity” group, in charge of neutralizing the Muslim Brothers.
Moreover, (...) the first Interior Minister under the first-ever civilian, democratically elected Egyptian President was General Ahmed Gamal al-Din, a figure known to be loyal to the criminally convicted, General Habib al-Adly, Mubarak’s Minister of Interior. Gamal al-Din was a hardliner during negotiations to release political prisoners following the success of the revolution, as well as during the talks to end the Mohammad Mahmoud street clashes of November 2011. He was also a witness in the “Giza Officers Trial,” in which 17 policemen were accused of killing and injuring protesters in January 2011. He defended the policemen, claiming that the victims had been killed in “self-defence.” Officers but Honourable Coalition, an unofficial organization of police officers who are pushing for internal reforms, accused Gamal al-Din of being a member of a powerful anti-reform faction in the ministry, dubbed “al-Adly’s men” (after former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly). Overall the Mursi administration did not make any major steps in SSR, probably due to very cautious political calculations. (...)
The interior ministry’s catch-22
The violence on the streets and the politicization of the SSR by rival politicians had negative consequence on the reform process and its credibility. On talk-shows, opposition figures call for SSR to be implemented and for police brutality to end. At the same time, the very same political figures praise security generals and corrupt judges/prosecutors known for their support of brutal tactics and faking charges. Some politicians even call for them to intervene in the political process, by cracking down on their rivals. In that sense, the MoI is in a “catch-22.”
On the one hand, it is responsible for defending state institutions, constantly under attack by violent groups from various backgrounds. On the other hand, if any of these protestors were killed or injured, the MoI will be accused of brutality. Add to that the limited experience in non-lethal tactics of riot control.
Four non-governmental organizations (NGOs) issued a report on Saturday regarding the police abuses in Egypt's governorate of Port Said.
The fact-finding committee sent to investigate the recent events of violence in Port Said confirmed that the police used live ammunition.
"The newly appointed investigative judge looking into the January violence in Port Said should fully examine police responsibility for unlawful killings during the episode," Said a statement issued by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), the Alkarama Foundation, and Human Rights Watch on Saturday.
The director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights Hossam Bahgat said, "According to the available evidence, what might have started as an act of self-defence turned into an unlawful use of force, where the police still fired bullets even when nobody was attacking them and they were not under threat."
Meanwhile, the Director of the Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Branch Sarah Lee Whitson called on President Mohamed Mursi to "openly admit that the police's right to use lethal force is not under control," and that he should order the police to only use force when necessary.
According to the report of the Director of Health Affairs in Port Said Abdul Rahman Farah, the overwhelming majority of the dead protesters were killed with gunshots, mostly injured in the upper half of their bodies, 11 of them suffered injuries in the head and neck.
The forensic doctor concluded that most of the dead were shot from a distance and a higher level, suggesting that the shots were likely by the police, who have settled above the roof of the jail and shot into the crowd after the prison was attacked.
According to the report, the Interior Ministry regulations grant the police overly broad discretion in the use of live gunfire in the vicinity of police stations or during the policing of demonstrations.
"Article 102 of the 1971 Police Law No. 109 provides the police with powers to use firearms that go beyond what international law permits," said the report.
This content is from :Aswat Masriyahttp://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=3c02e96a-3a33-4a3c-97f6-40131bf82c80
Egypt's security forces have been accused of detaining dozens of children without charge and in some cases abusing them. The government says there are laws in place to protect minors, but that they are not always enforced. Sherine Tadros spoke to one boy who described his harrowing experience.
Authorities have allegedly detained dozens of minors without charge; some have been tortured.
Egypt's security forces have been accused of detaining dozens of children without charge and in some cases torturing and abusing them, prompting a condemnation from the United Nations.
Scores of children were detained across the country during protests marking the anniversary of the country's revolution.
The government says there are laws in place to protect minors, but that they are not always enforced.
Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reports from the Egyptian city of Alexandria, where she spoke to one boy who described his harrowing experience.
As new cases of torture surface, diplomatic sources say the continuation of Mubarak-era abuses may affect foreign aid and loans to Egypt.
A strongly-worded letter requesting information about reports of systematic torture, at times leading to death, of Egyptian political activists has been sent to the Egyptian government by the Geneva-based Committee Against Torture.
The committee is the body charged with overseeing the commitment of governments to observe the terms of the UN Convention against Torture, which Egypt has ratified.
The letter referred to recent reports of torture by a number of activists, including some allegations of rape.
According to a source at the ministry of justice, the letter does not conclude firmly that the “alleged cases of torture” occurred but “it does demand clarification on specific cases.”
Among the specific cases included in the letter is Mohamed El-Gendy, an activist whose death on 4 February was blamed on police torture by his family and by other activists. A government forensic report attributed his death to a car accident, and government sources have denied the allegations of torture.
According to the source at the ministry of justice, a “reply to refute the accounts will be sent to the committee.”
“We are waiting for some information to come from the ministry of interior on a few matters and then we will draft a reply,” he said.
The government's formal response will then have to be vetted by the ministry of foreign affairs before it is sent to the committee.
Dozens of low-ranking police officers in Sohag City blocked the railway lines in Aref Square on Thursday evening, demanding the sacking of their chief detective and other leaders at the Sohag Security Directorate.
The protests began earlier on Thursday, when officers shut down the Sohag City Police Station in protest against the chief detective there, who had released a detainee with a criminal record. The released detainee subsequently rearrested by a police officer during a crackdown.
The officers accuse their superiors of being too weak to properly carry out their duties, causing the police forces to lose the people’s respect. They also demand to be armed.
Security directorate leaders met with the police officers and attempted to negotiate with them, but the police forces refused to end their protest until their demands were met, and then chose to escalate their actions by lighting tires and tree branches ablaze on the railway tracks.
Train traffic heading in and out of Upper Egypt came to a halt late Thursday as a result.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt independent)
While many police are angry at the government, much of the public are angry at the police. Many politicians, activists, and NGOs and have been accusing the police of being as brutal and corrupt as it was before the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. This unhealthy relationship between the people and their supposed guardians raises lots of questions about the relationship between building a modern democracy and security sector reform in Egypt.
Egypt’s police remain, to a great extent, one of the country’s most hated institutions. The police’s brutal attitude and its bloody legacy during Mubarak’s last years made it hard to reconcile with a people revolting against injustices and human right violations. During the Egyptian uprising, which started on 25 January or National Police Day, clashes between the police and protestors left about 840 protestors dead and 6,000 injured. As well as being distrusted for their brutal sins of commission in the past, however, Egypt’s police are also criticised for their sins of omission – namely their incompetence and alleged deliberate negligence, for example during the Port Said football riots in February 2012.
The police force has thus found itself under fire whilst needing to undergo crucial reforms. (...)
The main goal of any restructuring or reform process would be to build a modern and efficient police force that would be able to both provide security and protect human rights such as the right to peaceful protest. And real reform cannot be based on merely substituting the leadership with new faces. On the contrary, it must be deep and institutionalised. (...)
As positive as it is that many solutions have been proposed, a key factor that remains is political will. Strangely, after decades of being fiercely chased by the police, the Muslim Brotherhood, now leading the country, does not seem to be seriously interested in reforming the police. This perhaps leaves the challenge of driving reform and restructuring to the force itself. Success in changing this institution’s old habits would be a significant leap forwards on the road towards establishing a modern effective democracy. (Ahmed Abou Taleb/Think Africa Press)
Police arrested 16 Faragalla factory workers in Alexandria on Saturday on charges of inciting strikes, disrupting work, and assaulting employees in the workplace using cold weapons.
Prosecutors had ordered the arrest of 27 workers earlier in the day after factory owner Farag Amer accused them of causing the three-day long strike that shut down the factory. The other 11 remain at large.
Amer and the workers had signed an agreement mediated by the labour ministry on Friday leading to the temporary suspension of the strike and reopening of the factory.
Independent Faragalla Workers Syndicate leader Magdi Abdel Salam, quoted in a statement by the Egyptian Democratic Workers Conference, said workers were surprised when they turned up to the factory on Saturday to find that 27 of them had been called to the company’s legal affairs department and charged with inciting strikes, disrupting work, and violence. (Daily news Egypt)
Police officers from Mahalla Second Police Station entered a strike on Saturday in solidarity with Wael Mansour and Reda El-Masny, two police officers injured during violent clashes in Mahalla on Friday.
Hundreds of protesters attacked the police station with rocks and Molotov cocktails on Friday, leaving several police officers injured. Mansour was transferred to Al-Fadaly hospital in Tanta, while El-Masny was transferred to Mahalla’s Investment Hospital as they were the most severely injured.
Mahmoud Haroun, activist and resident of Mahalla, claimed that one of the police officers was injured when he tried to use a knife to subdue a protester. “The protester grabbed the knife from the officer and attacked him with it.” He added that the other officer was injured around his home, following a fight with his neighbours. “The injury of the second police officer has nothing to do with the protests or protesters,” Haroun said.
Haroun said that 28 protesters were arrested during Friday’s clashes and were transferred to Al-Toor prison in Gharbiya on Saturday morning.
Haroun said that protesters had submitted a complaint to the general lawyer of Mahalla regarding the 28 people arrested, adding that they are still waiting for his decision.
Civil disobedience occurred in Mahalla on Friday, after cars circled the city with speakers calling shop owners to close their shops down and taxi and microbus drivers to refrain from passing through Al-Shoon square, where protesters gathered.
Shop owners and taxi and microbus drivers complied with the protesters’ demands, in fear of being attacked by protesters.
Protesters blocked Al-Bahr Street using burning car tires, disrupting traffic in the city.
Protesters also blocked the railway connecting Mahalla to Mansoura for almost three hours before security forces reopened the line. (Fady Salah/Daily news Egypt)