A crisis erupted last week after police officers assaulted on-duty doctors will only be solved if the officers are held accountable, Undersecretary of the Doctors’ Syndicate Mona Mina stated Tuesday.
Eight low-ranking policemen were suspended from work and administratively investigated within the Interior Ministry after being accused of beating two doctors at Matariya General Hospital in eastern Cairo. Work at the hospital has been halted since then.
“The syndicate is not asking the impossible…only to refer the assaulters to prosecution for punishment over what they have committed and cannot be tolerated,” Mina stated.
She added that “everyone is lecturing us about the profession of medicine…and apologized, and they want us to return back to work at the Matariya hospital without any legal punishment to those who beat the doctors.”
Mina ensured that the syndicate adheres to opening an investigation into the incident, as well as to deal with violations by policemen by the law.
A number of parliamentarians have called on syndicate members to reconsider the decision to close the Matariya hospital, the syndicate said last Thursday.
The syndicate added that in the incident in question, a plain-clothed person with facial injuries arrived in the hospital and requested that the doctor write a report with non-existing injuries.
After the doctor, Ahmed Mahmoud, refused, the man revealed his identity as a policeman and threatened he would accuse him of forgery, according to the syndicate’s statement.
The policemen then beat Mahmoud and another doctor, Mo’men Abdel Azim, and took them to Matariya Police Station, which released them afterwards, the statement said.
The assaulted doctors reportedly retracted their claims after they filed police reports against the officers. The Interior Ministry then denied claims that the doctors were pressured into a waiver.
Hani Mhana, a member of the syndicate, previously said that the doctors were threatened with charges of assault against the doctors.
Last year, a similar crisis has broken out between the police and the Lawyers’ Syndicate after lawyer Karim Hamdy died of torture at Matariya police station.
Uproar against police violations erupted after Hamdy’s death; two accused national security officers were sentenced to five years in prison.