Police officers in more than a third of Egyptian provinces have gone on strike, including in parts of Cairo and in Port Said, the troubled northern city where more than 50 people have died in the past month in clashes between police and protesters.
Police have also refused to protect President Mohamed Morsi’s home in the Nile delta province of Sharqiya. Among several seemingly contradictory grievances, police demand better weapons. But conversely, they also claim the Morsi regime is using them as unwilling pawns in the suppression of protesters who demand the regime’s downfall.
“They’re trying to Ikhwanise the police and we are against that,” claimed Ahab Kamel, a spokesman for an informal union of junior police officers, who was on strike in Port Said. Ikhwan is the Arabic word for Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.