Egypt’s transportation ministry has imposed sanctions and fines on two train conductors following an investigation into their verbal abuse of a military conscript on a Mansoura-Cairo train on Thursday.
A four-minute video recorded by a passenger showed two unmasked train conductors asking a masked conscript in military fatigues to pay for a ticket, and a subsequent dispute.
The ministry ruled Adel Farouk Abdel-Hadi, the train chief conductor, be subject to a 50-day wage deduction, and train supervisor Adel Salah Abdel-Monein lose 15 days’ wages.
They were also transferred to work on freight trains, and fined EGP 4,000 ($247) each for not wearing masks in accordance with coronavirus safety measures, according to a ministry statement.
The two men were also referred for a medical examination to check if they are on narcotics, the ministry said, adding that their latest narcotic examination in March was negative.
In the video, the two conductors ask the conscript to take off the mask so they can hear him, reprove him for not having a ticket, and urge him to pay for a ticket. He, however, says he has already paid for one.
The conscript decides to get off the train, but a female passenger intervenes, paying for his ticket.
The video was shared widely on Egyptian social media, and the transport ministry subsequently issued an initial statement saying the two men had been suspended and an investigation opened, affirming its respect and appreciation for “all passengers in general and all members of the valiant armed forces and the police in particular.”
The armed forces also issued a statement praising the ministry for its action and saying that the actions of the conductors “represented only themselves.”
The military statement also praised the woman who had paid for the conscript’s ticket.
Wearing masks has been mandatory on mass transportation, in shops and banks, and in governmental institutions or private businesses, since 30 May. Violators face fines of up to EGP 4,000.