Lawyer Mounier Mokhtar condemned the arrest of seven low-ranking police officers who were involved in the formation of organisations to advocate for the rights of police officers.
The prosecution has accused the police officers of inciting other officers to strike, organising illegal protests, and belonging to a group whose target is to impact the work of the Egyptian police.
Mokhtar stated that their arrest stems from the officers’ involvement in some capacity in one of three officer organisations: the Coalition of Low-Ranking Police Officers, the Club of Low-Ranking Police Officers, and the Low-Ranking Police Officers Union.
Mokhtar described the arrest of the seven officers without charges as a violation of the Egyptian legal code. Furthermore, he stated that the Ministry of Interior had previously licensed the formation of these organisations.
The health of two of the seven police detained officers is deteriorating and they have been transferred to the prison’s hospital, according to Mokhtar.
According to law, the Ministry of Interior is not a military institution and thus is subject to the laws governing the civil sector. Therefore individuals have the right to organise any group or syndicate to defend the rights of those in the profession and to serve as a place to discuss issues and affairs.
The lawyer asserted that the actions taken by the seven policemen are not punishable by law. “The ministry just wants to hold them accountable them for all the privileges their movements have managed to achieve in the past few years,” Mokhtar said.
The Collation of Low-Ranking Police Officers is headed by Mansour Ebn Gadl who was not accused of any violations or legal infractions, Mokhtar said.
Police officers had previously turned to collective action to contend for their right to state-funded medical treatment and to ban police officers from being subject to military prosecution. The organisations have also previously advocated for an augmentation in salary and professional mobility for low-ranking officers who have received higher education degrees.
Last Wednesday, the prosecution ordered the renewal of a 15-day detention for the seven policemen for the second time. They were arrested on 20 February by security forces, according to state media.
Local media have reported that the police officers were accused of possessing illegal substances and unlicensed weapons.
The official “Omanaa Masr’’ Facebook page for low-ranking police officers has condemned the arrests.