Egyptian lawyers strike at Gharbiya court over alleged police assault

Ahram Online , Tuesday 16 Feb 2016

The policeman allegedly assaulted a lawyer in Gharbiya over a parking dispute

Dozens of lawyers have started a sit-in at a court in Gharbiya governorate to protest an alleged assault by a lower ranking policeman against their colleague.

Lawyer Hany Salem said he was assaulted by the policeman in front of a court in the Gharbiya town of Basyoun, sustaining lacerations and bruises to the face.

A Lawyers Syndicate official in the village, Emad Hamed, said he has presented an official complaint to the chief justice of the court and the deputy attorney-general against the policeman, accusing him of humiliating Salem and assaulting him as he was performing his public duty.

Eyewitnesses say that the incident occurred when the policeman opposed the parking of a tuk-tuk that was being used by the lawyer's relatives in front of the court complex, leading to verbal insults by the policeman and a physical altercation.

The protesting lawyers have abstained from attending court trials and investigations by prosecutors.

Gharbeya’s security officials have arrived to court to convince the protesters to end their sit-in for the "public interest and the rights of citizens."

This is the second major case in 2016 where members of a professional union protested against assaults by the police.

On Tuesday, Egypt's Doctors Syndicate notified the interior ministry of nationwide standing protests at hospitals on Saturday 20 February over assaults on doctors.

In June 2015, a nationwide strike by the Lawyers Syndicate took place to protest an incident of an assault by a police officer against a lawyer in a court in the city of Damietta, as well as repeated police violations against syndicate members.

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