CAIRO: A number of lawyers dispersed their sit-in outside Dokki police station in the early hours of Wednesday, after a report was filed against a policeman who reportedly assaulted a lawyer in an act that was harshly denounced by the lawyers syndicate.
The lawyers were standing outside the police station waiting to attend investigations with some protesters who were rounded up Monday, during demonstrations slamming the transfer of sovereignty of two Red Sea Islands to Saudi Arabia.
“We organized ourselves… to attend the investigations with the protesters… but a policeman objected our entry, assaulted us and torn my shirt,” Lawyer Abdel Rahman el-Khogaly told Youm7.
The head of Lawyers Syndicate, Sameh Ashour, posted a statement on his Facebook page denouncing the “unacceptable” assaults on lawyers on duty. He added that reports were filed before Attorney General to probe “thuggery and savagery” practiced against lawyers.
On Monday, Lawyer Mohamed Eissa wrote on his social media account that around 100 youth were detained at Dokki police station and that they stood for hours without being allowed to even know the names of the detainees inside.
Karim Abdel Rady, a lawyer at the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI,) tweeted that 21 of the arrested protesters left Dokki police station as no reports were filed against them. The exact number of the remaining detainees is not disclosed yet.
Tensions between the police and lawyers syndicate have been renewed several times since the last year, after incidents of lawyers reportedly attacked by police personnel.
On April 17, some 60 lawyers dispersed from the East Cairo prosecution office northwest of Cairo after two policemen were ordered detained for assaulting a lawyer who parked in a banned space.
A policeman fatally shot a tea seller after a dispute over the price of a cup of tea in New Cairo on April 19; he was ordered detained for four days pending investigations.
The last incident has prompted President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to demand draft amendments to the police law be expedited. The amendments aim to “stress” human rights, integrity and transparency when resorting to force and applying the law, according to a statement by presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef.
As facing a huge public backlash regarding abuses, the Interior Ministry has had always reiterated its denial to systematic police abuse, and labeled rising incidents as “individual mistakes.”