Police firings

The announcement by Minister of Interior El Essawy that he will fire over 600 police generals and officers has gotten quite a bit of attention. I did a piece about it for the radio show The World (featuring our good friend, activist Hossam el-Hamalawy) that you can listen to here. While the announcement is a positive step in the sense that it's an obvious response to the pressure of the protests, it begs the question: Who are these officers? Were they on their way to retirement anyway? Are they the ones accused of shooting protesters and of torture? 

I have a better idea for starting a purge of the Ministry of Interior. Every officer who, as happened earlier this week, doesn't show up to work -- to protest the total unfairness of demands that police officers actually be tried, and that those accused of murder be suspended from work -- should be sacked. That way you don't even need to spend a lot of time figuring out who the most dangerous psychopaths and troublesome assholes in the police force are -- they identify themselves. And anyway, as we keep being told, isn't striking illegal? 

Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.