By Tamim Elyan
CAIRO: The Police Officers Coalition called Wednesday for discharging head of Cairo’s security directorate and head of the investigations department in response to the escape of tens of detainees from Al-Sahel police station late Tuesday.
The coalition called for strict orders from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the Cabinet to authorize using live ammunition in case of attacks on police stations.
“Police officers aren’t able to defend themselves because they have no legal protection and when they shoot thugs attacking them they are prosecuted and the victims are called martyrs,” said Mohamed Omar, member of the coalition’s coordinating committee.
More than 90 detainees escaped Al-Sahel police station in Shubra with the help of armed men who broke into the station. The detainees’ families gathered in front of the station and threw rocks at its soldiers and officers.
One police officer was injured and transferred to the hospital while central security forces dispersed the crowd from around the station.
In Daqahelya governorate, one man died during clashes between armed men, who were trying to break into Dekrnes Police Station, and police officers.
“Police stations in areas known for its thugs must be secured with central security forces. The current leaderships in the ministry are trying to embarrass you in front of the public,” the coalition said in a message to Minister of Interior Mansour El-Essawy.
The coalition demanded new leaderships capable of outlining more efficient security plans.
“Thugs got used to attacking police stations without any deterrents,” Omar said, “If anything happens they group themselves and attack the police station and bring some lawyers and the police officers are prosecuted.
“During the trial of officers who are accused of killing protesters, when the court decided to release them until the next session, the families destroyed the court room. Judges are being pressured by public opinion to issue certain rulings,” he added.
The coalition met with El-Essawy this week to relay their demands including the replacement of the minister’s assistants who were appointed during the reign of former interior minister Habib El-Adly, the establishment of a police association through direct elections and under judicial supervision, and improving wages and working conditions.
El-Essawy said that he will “marginalize” the role of officials above 60 years old according to law, adding that candidacy for police clubs elections will be open in 10 days and promised to review regulations regarding the appointment of officers outside the governorate of their residence.
He also pledged to review the police law number 109 for the year 1971.
“We just don’t want these officials to issue decisions that hinder our work in reforming the police authority,” Omar said.
El-Essawy is set to meet with police officers soon to listen to their demands.