Egyptian doctors protest against police brutality in Cairo

Thousands of frustrated Egyptian doctors protest over police brutality in downtown Cairo

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Egyptian doctors demonstrate in front of the Doctors Union in Cairo, Egypt, February 12, 2016.

Egyptian doctors demonstrated on Saturday evening in front of their syndicate’s headquarters in downtown Cairo to protest what they describe as "chronic police brutality" and to demand better security at the nation’s hospitals.

Demonstrators raised banners demanding the prosecution of policemen who reportedly assaulted two doctors in an east Cairo hospital earlier this year.

They also demanded legislation guaranteeing better hospital security.

The Doctors Syndicate, for its part, called on members to stage demonstrations on Saturday outside hospitals across the country to coincide with the protest at the syndicate headquarters.

In late January, several policemen were detained after having reportedly assaulted two doctors at a hospital in eastern Cairo’s Al Matariyyah district.

The policemen, however, were all released by the authorities within 24 hours, infuriating doctors across the country.

The syndicate demands that the policemen be referred to a criminal court for trial.

Egypt has recently witnessed several protests against police brutality, along with increasing numbers of labor strikes.

Some observers compare the current situation to what was seen in the months leading up to a popular uprising in early 2011 that led to the departure of autocratic President Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power.

On Feb. 12, Egyptian doctors staged a landmark demonstration in Cairo the likes of which had not been seen since a 2013 military coup unseated Mohamed Morsi -- Egypt’s first freely elected president -- after only one year in office.

Less than one week later, the murder of a taxi driver by a policeman in the capital’s low-income Darb al Ahmar district led to two days of angry protests outside Cairo’s main security directorate.

TRTWorld, AA