Egypt unveils major police shake-up ahead of mass protest
A major shake-up of the police department is to be undertaken in mid-July in what would be comparable to a "purge," Interior Minister Mansour el-Essawi said Thursday, DPA reported.
In comments to the independent Al Masry Al Youm newspaper, he said the shake-up would be the biggest in the history of the ministry, with hundreds of police officers suspected of using violence against protesters in last winter's popular uprising to be sacked.
"The shake-up, which will be announced on July 17, will be tantamount to a purge of the ministry," al-Essawi said.
His remarks come a day before mass rallies set for Friday by protesters demanding the prosecution of policemen suspected of involvement in a deadly crackdown on pro-reform protesters in last winter's uprising against former president Hosny Mubarak.
On Wednesday, clashes erupted between police and people in the coastal city of Suez, east of Cairo, after a court upheld an earlier decision to release on bail seven police officers accused of killing 17 protesters in the early days of the revolt.
Several political groups have said they will participate in Friday's one million-strong march in Tahrir Square in Cairo to push for swift and public trials for Mubarak and his aides.