The Front for the Defence of Egyptian Demonstrators Calls upon Essawi to Suspend Officers Accused of Violence against Citizens During the Revolution

Press Release

19 June 2011

The Front for the Defence of Egyptian Demonstrators has sent a letter to both the Minister of the Interior, Major General Mansur Essawi, and the Assistant Minister of the Interior for Individual Affairs, General Magdy Tahami, calling upon them to review the Ministry's position on officers who continue to carry out their work as normal, despite being accused of carrying out acts of violence against demonstrators during the revolution of the 25th January.

The Front's letter drew attention to the fact that there are dozens of officers from almost eleven governorates who are under investigation on various charges, some relating to deliberate killing and the use of excessive violence against citizens during the revolution.

The Front highlighted the conundrum of these officers' continued presence in their workplaces, which gives them an opportunity to interfere with and coerce their victims, and could change the course of the investigations. Others, on the other hand, have been promoted, an inconceivable move sure to arouse more suspicion than surprise and which highlights the need for a public opening of files.

The letter noted Article 53 from the Police Law No.109 of 1971, which states that 'The Minister, Assistant Minister, or Department Chief may do all within their jurisdiction to suspend the officer from his work if the interests of the investigation require it.' This is in addition to Article 83 of the same law which states that 'the suspension of a police officer, according to Article 53, is within the jurisdiction of the competent Assistant Minister or the Department Chief.'

The letter attached the names of 51 police officers working in both Cairo and Giza security directorates who continue to be subject to investigation whilst discharging their duties as normal, some of them even receiving a promotion. It demanded their suspension from duty based on the above-mentioned articles of the Police Act.

The Front concluded their letter by emphasising that this demand is part of a larger civil society initiative. It is a first step towards urging the Minister of the Interior to embark upon a more comprehensive overhaul and restructuring of the security sector.