Egyptian doctors’ syndicate stage anti-police rally

Thousands of Egyptian doctors attend a rally against police impunity after two doctors were allegedly beaten by policemen in a hospital late last month in Cairo, Egypt on Feb. 12, 2016. (Xinhua/Mahmoud Bakkar)

Thousands of Egyptian doctors attend a rally against police impunity after two doctors were allegedly beaten by policemen in a hospital late last month in Cairo, Egypt on Feb. 12, 2016. (Xinhua/Mahmoud Bakkar)

Thousands of Egyptian doctors staged a protest Friday 12th February outside their union headquarters in Cairo over a lack of legal action against policemen who beat up two of their colleagues.

Nine policemen are alleged to have assaulted the doctors in a state hospital in Cairo’s northern district of Matareya on January 28 after they refused to forge a medical report. The prosecutor’s office called the nine policemen in for questioning but released them on Thursday, according to Al-Ahram.

The head of the doctors’ syndicate, Hussein Khairi, told AFP: “Our demands, which are very fair, are the safety of doctors while performing their job and that the attackers be taken to court.”

“The interior ministry is thugs,” the protesters chanted as they were joined by over 60 public figures and syndicates’ representatives expressing their solidarity, standing 500 metres (yards) away from four armoured police vehicles. There were no clashes.

The syndicate’s general assembly vowed to carry out escalating measures by holding nationwide protests on February 20 in hospitals across the nation if its demands are not met. They also demanded the sacking of the Health Minister, Ahmed Emad, due to his failure to protect the doctors on duty, according to AlJazeera.

The doctors also demanded the installation of CCTV cameras in ER sections and hospitals passages, to guarantee theirs and patient’s rights; also, no armed person enters any medical facility except the facility’s security personnel only. The assembly also agreed to give the rights to doctors to strike if they are being attacked or their medical workplace is being attacked.

The protesting doctors have assured they won’t end their strike unless the minister resigns. Activists expressing solidarity with the doctors have initiated the Hashtag #I_support_Doctors_syndicate” in Arabic that was trending in Egypt on Friday with over 40,000 tweets.

Bassem Youssef's official facebook page comparing the state media coverage.

Bassem Youssef’s official facebook page comparing the state media coverage.

While the interior ministry didn’t release any comments so far, a large number of public figures showed their solidarity on social media, criticising the ministry and the way media dealt with the protests. Bassem Youssef, the renowned TV show presenter criticised the media coverage saying, “After five years (since the revolution) the camera is still focused on the empty street. It’s no longer about faking news, it’s the government’s way of telling us that their interior ministry and media along with many other ministries support thugs, regardless of what citizens demand. It’s no surprise after TV presenters confessed that they all read from the same script previously approved by the government.”

One the same, Cairo University’ head Gaber Nassar issued a decision to ban female doctors and nurses from wearing face veils in all of the university’s hospitals and clinics starting from Sunday 14th February. According to Ahram Online, the decision will be applied on doctors, nurses, hospital technical assistants and all staff in Qasr Al-Aini hospital as well as other medical facilities owned by the state-owned university, to “protect the rights of patients and work interest.”

Search in Site