Doctors demand police accountability in “dignity protests”
Doctors demand police accountability in “dignity protests”

CAIRO: Doctors have gathered Saturday in protest against not holding police officers accountable over assaulting Matariya hospital doctors last month.

The protests were arranged by the Doctors Syndicate, which held a general assembly last week, and agreed on holding demonstrations under the name of “Dignity protests” on Saturday.

Lasted one hour, the protest called on for implementing more security measures for doctors while on duty, after two doctors were physically attacked by policemen reportedly for refusing to prepare a fake medical report on an officer’s injury.

The syndicate called on its members to participate in Saturday protests without repeating political chants and to focus on demands presented by the doctors.

As reported by Youm7, the chants were demanding “secure hospitals, rapid accountability of assaulters, toughening punishment regarding assaults at hospitals,” in reiteration to demands drafted by the syndicate during its emergency meeting held on Feb. 12.

The meeting, which witnessed the participation of thousands of doctors, had called on sacking the Minister of Health Ahmed Emad and investigating him over “inaction on protecting them while on duty.” They also agreed on providing medical service and examinations for free to all patients starting from Feb. 27.

Nine policemen, accused of assaulting doctors at Matariya Teaching Hospital, were set free by the prosecution, one day after they were ordered arrest to be investigated over the accusations.

The prosecution decision has triggered wide support of social media users to the doctors. It also sparked outrage among doctors, who denounced police impunity.

In a Friday statement, the Interior Ministry spokesperson Abu Bakr Abdel Karim said that “any policeman who violates the law will be prosecuted. Policemen are not above the law.”

The statement came hours after a policeman confessed killing a truck driver by his gun in Cairo’s district of Al Darb al Ahmar on Thursday after a brawl; he was ordered detained for four days pending investigations.

In the aftermath of the incident, and as hundreds partook in the slain driver’s funeral chanting against police violence, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi called on Friday for a new law or amending existing legislations to hold police accountable for abuses.

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