Police officers in the city of Al-Arish have resumed their strike after suspending it on Friday. The suspension lasted until 8pm on Friday giving high-level Sinai security officials the chance to respond to their demands.
In Minya, police officers closed the gates of the security directorate. While in the Red Sea governorate, some policemen ended their strike after negotiating with security officials.
Central Security Forces (CSF) began a strike on Thursday with a number of police officers joining. They are demanding the resignation of Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, better armament and independence from Egyptian political affairs.
The strike covered police stations in Cairo, Alexandria, Gharbeya, Suez Canal cities, Qena, Luxor, Sinai as well as several other governorates.
Ten police stations in Alexandria joined the strike on Saturday along with the CSF in Alexandria and immigration police.
The Cairo Association for Research and Development (CARD), who has been in constant contact with the striking officers, released a statement on Saturday supporting the strike.
“We have contacted many officers on strike and they said they do not want to be in confrontation with people represented in the protests,” said Ehsan Yehia, head of CARD’s media office.
She added that the officers demanded restructuring the Ministry of Interior without any affiliation to the regime. “The police’s duty is to protect people and facilities not to further political agendas,” said one of the striking police officers.
“We don’t want to be hated and feared by the people; we don’t want to be treated as the enemies of the people and the servants of the regime,” said another officer.
In an attempt to end the strike, Interior Minister Ibrahim replaced the Commander of CSF Maged Nouh with long-serving CSF officer Ashraf Abdallah; however, the strike continued on Saturday.
The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) released a statement on Saturday supporting the police, saying “the party rejects politicising the police, which is owned by the people and should not be affiliated with one party against another”.
The statement, which was published on Twitter and FJP’s official website, reaffirmed the party’s support of arming the police with what enables them to protect facilities and enforce the law while respecting human rights.
“Those who attack police stations and security directorates drag the country to chaos, and those who give violence a political cover are responsible for the police absence on the streets,” the FJP statement read.