Ministry mulls combined celebration of revolution and Police Day

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim has formed a committee to study combining Police Day and the revolution’s anniversary into one celebration on 25 January.

The Egyptian revolution broke out on 25 January in response to calls by several political movements, most prominent of which was the April 6 Youth Movement, to protest police abuse. Demonstrations continued until former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted on 11 February.

The main objective of the demonstrations was to condemn Interior Ministry practices, which included the torture of citizens in police stations, as in the famous case of a man named Khaled Saeed, and denounce security shortcomings, as in the failure to protect worshipers from the bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria.

Certain political forces have called for marches on 25 January, the first anniversary of the revolution, to request that the military council hand over power, while the Silent Majority Coalition has suggested celebrating both the anniversary of the revolution and Police Day on that day.

“We seek a celebration that is worthy of the martyrs of both sides,” the minister said at a press conference on Thursday, adding that he is working on eliminating the tension between the people and the police.

“The police will never throw teargas at protesters or use violence to disperse demonstrations,” he said.

Ibrahim stressed that the near future will witness heavy security presence and campaigns against crime. “But we need the help of the people and the media in our endeavor,” he said.

“The police is impartial to all political forces,” he added. “But we will decisively face violations of legitimacy and breaches of security.”

The Salafi-oriented Nour and the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice parties said they would take part in celebrations but not demonstrations.

“Demonstrating on that day sends a message that legitimacy is still with Tahrir Square,” said Ahmed al-Noqr, spokesman of the National Association for Change.

“The marches symbolize the continuation of the revolution,” said Mohamed al-Qassas of the Egyptian Trend Party.

“We’ll participate as long as the demonstrations are peaceful,” said Mohamed Habib of the Nahda Party.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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