Interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb’s cabinet vowed to firmly confront all those who assault citizens, civilian facilities and public utilities in an emergency meeting held on Saturday night.
The meeting followed the shooting of at least five military police conscripts on Saturday at dawn at a checkpoint at Mostorod near the Cairo-Ismailia agricultural road.
The ministers reiterated Article 204 of the 2014 constitution. The article bans military trials for civilians “except in cases which represent a direct assault on armed forces institutions, their camps or anything that falls under their authority, alongside assaults on military or border zones, and military institutions, vehicles, weapons, ammunition, documents, secrets, public funds, or factories”. The article also allows for the military prosecution of civilians who commit crimes concerning conscription or crimes considered a “direct attack on military officers or personnel as a result of carrying out their duties”, leaving the definition of such crimes up to the law.
In a statement released on Saturday night, the cabinet stressed that this article applies to any assault or attempted assault on joint police and military checkpoints.
The cabinet also took the decision to maximise security measures near vital and strategic utilities. It also vowed to secure border crossings and arrest “terrorist elements”.
The cabinet called on workers and union members to postpone their “factions’ demands” and to “prioritise the nation’s best interests… at this critical stage.”
Doctors, dentists and pharmacists launched on Saturday an open ended strike after repeated one-day strikes by doctors in 2014 failed to achieve their demands.
Several other groups of workers, including workers at the transport section and the Mahalla Spinning and Weaving Factory, have recently staged strikes as well.
The cabinet stressed it is insistent on going forward with the “roadmap” announced by Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013.