CAIRO: Cairo Prosecution ordered the arrest of 9 policemen pending investigations over assaulting doctors at the Matariya hospital last month, Youm7 reported Wednesday.
The incident has caused a row between the police and the Doctors’ Syndicate, after the latter threatened escalation to strike as the perpetrators remained at large.
During interrogations, the policemen denied having assaulted the doctors. One of the policemen said that he and his colleague Mohamed Radwan, who suffered a head injury, headed to the hospital where they waited for one hour until a doctor came to see him, Youm7 reported the investigations.
The policeman, whose name was not mentioned, added that he believed his colleague’s wound should have been stitched, but the doctor said it was a simple injury.
The policemen, who entered the hospital in plainclothes that day, claimed the doctors described them as “thugs” when they revealed their identity, which according to the policeman’s accounts, had erupted altercations between both sides.
However, the investigated policemen denied beating the doctors, and said that they left the hospital to another one to rescue their injured colleague.
One of the eyewitnesses was Nurse Mona Abdel Rahman, who was also investigated over the incident, and whose testimony corroborated the story of assault.
In her accounts, Rahman said that during her shift on the incident day, on Jan.28, “three people in plainclothes, one of them had a simple wound in his face, entered the hospital in uproar.”
She said that the hospital staff did not know the identity of the three men. “They were screaming saying ‘help this man is bleeding’,” said Rahman, adding that one of the doctors, Ahmed el-Sayed, tried to calm them down.
One of the policemen told doctor Sayed that the wound should be stitched and he needs to record this in a medical report, but the doctor rejected because the case was simple and does not need stitching.
“Then the three men assaulted the doctor, broke his eyeglasses and kicked him,” she said, adding that when another doctor, called Moemen and two other physicians tried to interfere they were beaten as well.
After the men locked up Doctor Ahmed inside a room in the hospital, “we found a number of people, they look like thugs, coming in and dragged doctor Ahmed until the police vehicle,” said Rahman.
Since the incident, work at Matariya hospital was halted in protest demanding doctors’ right repatriated.
Last week, Egypt’s Attorney-General office embarked on investigations into the incident which has sparked outrage on social media against police violence. According to the office’s statement, the policemen wanted to issue a fake medical report, and hence, they attacked the doctors after they rejected to write one.
The accused policemen were suspended from work pending administrative investigations within the Interior Ministry, which described such violence as “individual irregularities committed by some police personnel and does not represent the ministry and its strategy,” according to ministry Spokesperson Abu-Bakr Abdel-Karim.
Over the last few months, some police personnel received imprisonment sentences over attacking and torturing detainees to death.
On Dec.11, the Damanhour criminal court sentenced a police officer to five years in jail for the fatal torture of inmate in Rashid police station in May. Meanwhile, five low-ranking officers were jailed pending investigation on charges of torturing another inmate to death at the Luxor police station.