Top police officials said the police will resort to the gradual use of force in accordance to rules and laws.
The statement came from Abdel-Fattah Othman, the head of the General Administration for Media and Public Relations on Tuesday.
Othman said the Ministry of Interior will carry out its full obligations guaranteed by the law to protect the nation “no matter how much it costs in terms of efforts and sacrifices…through the use of all powers conferred upon us by law…. and the gradual use of force”.
He said that the gradual use of force is in accordance with Article 3 Clause 2 of the Police Act and conforms with the legitimate right to self defence stated in Article 245 of the Penal Code.
Article 102 Clause 3 of Police Law 109 of 1973 empowers a policeman to “use firearms if it is the only way to perform his duties” when facing a gathering of five or more people that he deems to be a threat to national security.
Lawyer Amir Salem said the right of self defence is a right that any policeman or person has when faced with a “certain, real, and clear” threat, “one that is proven by evidence and witnesses”.
He added that this is not a right policemen can exercise when dispersing protests. “Protests are a completely different thing,” he said.
Othman added that the police stand at an equal distance from all political groups. In a conference on Sunday Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim called on political groups to keep the police out of the ongoing conflict between the regime and the opposition.
Policemen have gone on strike in several parts of the country. Ibrahim held meetings with police officials on Monday to discuss the demands of the strikers and internal security.
Among the demands of the policemen on strike were the minister’s resignation and better armament as well as independence from internal political affairs.