Egypt suspends all police officers accused of killing protesters
Egypt Prime Minister Essam Sharaf says dismissal of police officers accused of killing protesters during demonstrations that led to President Hosni Mubarak's ouster 'a matter of urgency'.
As part of a sequence of actions intended to appease protesters, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf of Egypt said Saturday that he has ordered the suspension of all police officers accused of killing demonstrators during the protests that led to President Hosni Mubarak's ouster.
During a live address on state television, Sharaf said he issued the new instructions to dismiss police officers accused of killing demonstrators "as a matter of urgency to the minister of interior." A spokesman from the Interior Ministry's office confirmed the order, saying that"the suspension process will begin on Thursday."
A day after large-scale nationwide rallies rattled the nation, thousands of protesters have maintained their stronghold in the focal point of the revolution, Tahrir Square, to continue what they are calling the second wave of the revolution … an open-ended sit-in they said they intend to continue until their demands are met.
Sharaf vowed to put the protesters' demands into action, some of which include the firing and prosecution of police officers implicated in the killing of protesters, transparent and speedier trials for former government members and a halt to military trials of civilians.
The prime minister also said he issued instructions to the general prosecutor to create a committee for speeding up prosecutions and overseeing the judicial system. Addressing the security vacuum in Egypt, Sharaf said he "demanded a swift return to the highest levels of security on the streets of Egypt to make them safe again and give our citizens the dignity they deserve."
Demonstrators seemed unimpressed by Sharaf's attempt to appease their demands, as they continued their sit-in. Raouf Ismail, 43, a computer engineer, said: "Sharaf used very vague language. It reminded us of the speeches Mubarak would give when he was trying to hold on to power."
After Sharaf's speech, a thousand protesters blocked a main road to the Suez Canal and Tawfiqport, threatening to block the entrance of the canal if no real concessions were made by Sunday. Workers started a hunger strike outside the Suez Naval Arsenal building.
Seven police officers accused of killing protesters were released in Suez recently.
Mounting frustrations over the lack of change since Mubarak's Feb. 11 ouster instigated the new wave of demonstrations.
Marwa Hussein, a 36-year-old marketing manager, complained, "The ruling military council have taken us for a ride; almost six months later we have realized no revolution took place." Her sentiments mirror thousands of others in the square, who complain that there has been no reform, especially not in the judiciary system or the police force.