By Adam Ramsey
Alexandria’s Administrative Court has ruled against the Interior Ministry’s decision to penalise bearded police officers.
Currently, the ruling is such that if a police officer grows a beard he will be taken off ‘active duty’; either by being moved to an administrative role or sent home.
An officer on administrative duty is typically paid half that of an active duty officer and those sent home forfeit their salary altogether.
The reasoning behind the Interior Ministry’s decision is based on sectarian concerns.
It was argued that bearded police officers may be intimidating for Coptic Christians to deal with.
However, the Alexandria court has ruled that an officer can only be taken off ‘active duty’ if they have committed a crime so egregious that they cannot be dealt with through normal procedure.
As such, all bearded officers will be reinstated to their positions immediately.
This opinion was shared by courts in Beheira and Tanta which also ruled against the beard ban.
The Cairo administrative court agreed with Interior Ministry’s decision, however.
The Supreme Administrative Court is set to review all the verdicts and make a final ruling on the subject.