Trial for policemen who assaulted doctors at hospital delayed to June 7

Tuesday 24-05-2016 01:09 PM

Doctors call for implementing the law. Archive

CAIRO, May 24 (Aswat Masriya) - An Egyptian court decided on Tuesday to postpone the trial of nine low-ranking policemen involved in a case of police assault on doctors at a hospital to June 7, to review more documents.

The assault, which took place in the Matariya Teaching Hospital, triggered mass discontent from doctors across Egypt last February after a video was published by the news portal Mobtada featuring a doctor detailing the purported assault against him by low-ranking policemen as he attempted to provide one of them with healthcare. 

The video, which picked up traffic, features doctor Ahmed Abdallah saying that an injured man, accompanied by another man, came to the hospital. Abdallah examined the injury which turned out to be a "superficial" wound in the man's forehead. Abdallah was accompanied by two other medical care providers.

"We told him it was superficial... and may not even need stitches," Abdallah said, but that was when trouble started. The injured man perceived the medical opinion as belittling of his injury, according to Abdallah.

"He started insulting and cursing," the doctor said. When the injured man started yelling, the accompanying man walked in and "started beating" and hurling more insults.

It was when Abdallah told the receptionist to call the police station, that he knew that these were policemen after one of them responded, "we are the police station." 

A doctor from the administration was brought in to try and calm down the policemen, Abdallah said, but instead they "detained" Abdallah in the reception room and said they would take him to the police station. At one point when tension escalated, a policeman held out his gun at the other doctor. 

"I was dragged... and handcuffed," Abdallah said.

Provoked by the incident, the doctors’ syndicate convened an emergency general assembly meeting that became one of the largest assemblies of protest in the past two years. Thousands of protesters chanted against police brutality and called the interior ministry “thugs.” 

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