A Cairo misdemeanor court handed down on Tuesday a three-year imprisonment sentence to each of nine policemen for assaulting doctors at the Matareya Teaching Hospital, state-owned Ahram Online reported.
The court set bail for the policemen, who are currently not in custody, at EGP 2,000. The verdict can also still be appealed.
In January, the convicted policemen attacked two doctors, Mohamed Abdelaziz and Ahmed El Sayed, for refusing to falsify a policeman’s medical report.
Thousands of medical professionals made their way to a general assembly organized by the Doctors’ Syndicate Dar El Hekma in downtown Cairo following the attack on the doctors at Matareya Hospital.
At the general assembly, doctors called on the interior ministry and the Egyptian government to provide security to doctors against such attacks, stating that security officers should be present on hospital premises to prevent acts of violence. The doctors also called upon Egypt’s parliament to issue a law to penalize any aggressors against hospital staff and medical professionals.
Earlier this year, the Egyptian government vowed to reform the country’s police force by enforcing new laws to curb its authority and regulate individual policemen’s daily interactions with citizens. The pledge came in response to mounting public criticism against a series of assaults from policemen against civilians, including the killing of a 24-year-old lorry driver by an off-duty policeman in the Al-Darb Al-Ahmar district of Cairo.
Despite the authorities’ promises and efforts, incidents of police brutality against citizens continue to occur.
In April, a policeman killed a tea vendor and injured two other civilians near Cairo’s Rehab City after getting into an argument with the slain vendor over the price of a cup of tea.
Last month, a low-ranking policeman “accidentally” shot dead a microbus driver in the upscale Cairo neighborhood of Maadi. According to the Ministry of Interior, the policeman interfered in a quarrel between two drivers on the Autostrad road and fired a warning shot with his gun, accidentally killing the driver. Eyewitnesses said that the driver was shot in the neck.
Authorities maintain that such cases are isolated incidents and do not reflect the nature of the police force as a whole.