Egypt lawyers demand apology from interior minister for Friday clashes

Ahram Online, Sunday 8 Jul 2012

Attorneys refuse to represent police charged with involvement in February's Port Said stadium disaster to show solidarity with colleagues who clashed with police Friday

Sameh Ashour
Sameh Ashour, head of the Lawyers' Syndicate overall (Photo: Ahram)

The Egyptian Lawyers Syndicate's North Cairo branch on Sunday issued demands for an immediate investigation into Friday's clashes between police forces and lawyers in Cairo's Nasr City district, along with a formal apology by the interior minister to lawyers hurt in the clashes.

Friday's disturbances were reportedly triggered by an altercation between a lawyer and a low-ranking police officer at the Nasr City Police Station late Thursday night. By Friday afternoon, 16 people – eight attorneys and eight policemen – had been injured in limited fighting between the two groups.

Scores of lawyers have been holding an open-ended sit-in in front of the police station since Friday.

Egyptian Lawyers Syndicate head Sameh Ashour has said that Egyptian attorneys countrywide would refrain from providing legal representation to any policemen or officers – whatever the charges – until police involved in Friday's clashes were prosecuted.

As a result, lawyers for policemen accused of involvement in February's Port Said stadium massacre, in which dozens were killed and hundreds injured, have reportedly refused to defend their clients in court.

A number of Egyptian policemen currently face charges of involvement in the murder of unarmed anti-regime protesters during last year's Tahrir Square uprising. Some have been acquitted, while others continue to face charges.

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