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Egypt court suspends return of bearded police

News24
14 Sep 2018, 01:39 GMT+10

An Egyptian court has suspended a ruling that allowed the return to work of policemen with beards which are usually reserved for pious Muslims, a judicial source said on Thursday.

Wednesday's decision came after a lawyer appealed against a ruling to allow them to return to work and demanded the interior ministry apply regulations that prevent bearded officers from serving.

"The beard in Arab countries is considered religious, it isn't just something normal," lawyer Mohammed Hamed Salem told AFP.

"How do you feel when you cross a checkpoint run by bearded officers," he asked.

The case dates back to 2012 when bearded police demonstrated under Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, demanding the officers be allowed to serve.

After Morsi's ouster in 2014, the interior ministry dismissed 10 policemen because of their beards.

In July, police regulations were again called into question and bearded officers were officially allowed to return to their beats.

Salem, the lawyer, said he immediately filed an appeal over "fears these police officers are Islamists".

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