Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

3 February 2013

Egypt: Protesters Mistreat Security Forces - Director of Central Security

The Director of Cairo's Central Security, Ashraf Abdullah, said on Sunday that his forces do not possess any rubber-bullet guns. He stressed that the protesters are mistreating the police officers.

Abdullah said in a statement reported by the Middle East News Agency that all rubber-bullets were withdrawn from the central security. He said that his forces only have teargas bombs and sound-bullets, which are only used to "deter assaults on the security forces or vital installations."

He cited the mistreatment of the police by expelling the Interior Minister from the funeral of the martyrs killed by the security forces who were assigned to protect the prison of Port Said last week.

Abduallah added that the central security officers have demanded being equipped with better arms to counter the assaults against them.

He said that the officers were undergoing grave emotional pressures due to the death of four of their men within one week.

"Some accuse the central security forces of abusing the protesters, the truth is that the protesters are the ones mistreating us," said the statement of Cairo's central security director.

He explained that the protesters "throw petrol bombs, missiles, rubber-bullets, fireworks and live ammunition, which can be proved through the injuries among our men."

He said that 394 of the forces were injured, 102 of the officers were injured in the eyes and 45 were injured by rubber-bullets. The rest suffered from variant burns and fractures.

Abdullah asked the protesters not to overlook the rights of the police officers, saying, "Do not forget that a police man is entitled to human rights, we are human beings and we have children and wives who need us, we are only doing our mission in providing security...do not prosecute us."

He asked the legislator to speed up the drafting of a law that regulates protests.

As for the clashes that occurred on Friday between the security forces and the protesters near the presidential palace, he said that the security forces were defending a symbol of the state in response to attempts of burning it down.

Regarding the assault on Hamada Saber and stripping him naked in front of the presidential palace, he described the incident as "unfortunate". He said that the public prosecution will be the sole judge of the incident.

He stressed that the central security forces "did not assault, strip naked or drag any of the protesters since the beginning of the events."

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