Policemen protested on Tuesday in front of security directorate buildings in several governorates demanding reform.
They rejected the policies of the Ministry of Interior that turned them into players on the political field, stating that these policies put them on the frontlines of the confrontations between protesters and the regime.
Protesters chanted against Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim and demanded his resignation.
They also demanded to be better armed after many policemen and security personnel were killed by unknown assailants infiltrating protests.
Other demands included a comprehensive law to protect policemen on duty both inside and outside police facilities, the independence of the ministry, better employment conditions, and better healthcare services.
Protests took place in Cairo, Alexandria, Beni Suef, Sharqiya, Qaliubiya, Sohag, Minya, Aswan, Ismailia, Assiut and the New Valley.
“Policemen are protesting lack of armament,” said Ministry of Interior Spokesperson Mohamed Menady.”They are attacked with rubber bullets, Molotov cocktails and sometimes live ammunition while they only have teargas.”
He added that the ministry is in contact with the protesters: “We are trying to make them aware of the stage Egypt is going through; their current situation is the most suitable for this stage.”
Kafr Al-Sheikh policemen protested on Sunday and shut down the road in front of the security directorate. Negotiations between the protesters and security leaders proved ineffective.
“These protests are a result and a symptom of the failure of the police institution,” said Ghada Shahbandar, a member of the Police for the people of Egypt initiative and board member of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights.
Shahbandar added that the protests were sparked by the fact that over the past two years, the political administration had not tried to reform the Ministry of Interior under the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) or President Mohamed Morsi.
“No reform plan was presented,” she said. “No measures to hold those responsible for violations accountable were taken.”
She added that recently the presidency and the cabinet had allowed the ministry to use more power to oppress protesters for political reasons, which “put the policemen on the streets in a confrontation with the people”.
Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim rewarded 361 policemen on Tuesday for their efforts in fighting crime and maintaining security.
“The rewards are a motivation to other policemen. Those who work for a more secure Egypt deserve rewarding,” Menady said.