Lawyers call for strike across Egypt’s courts to protest police brutality

The Lawyers Syndicate has called for a general strike at Egypt’s courts this Saturday to protest a recent incident of alleged police brutality against one of its members.

The syndicate claims that a police officer at the Farskor police station in Damietta used his shoe to assault a lawyer from the Court of Cassation, causing severe injury to his left eye, the privately owned newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

The lawyers filed a complaint with the Damietta prosecutor general pursuant to the attack, which it described as “brutal.” An investigation into the incident was reportedly launched on Wednesday, but syndicate head Sameh Ashour claimed that the head of security tried to cover up the incident and protect the offender when the lawyers attempted to take legal action.

The strike demands the immediate reform of the police forces, which are continuing to commit the same violations against human rights as they did before the January 25, 2011 revolution, the syndicate said in a statement released on Wednesday.

“The lawyers will not abandon their rights, or the rights of their colleagues, and will follow every official in the ministry, starting with the minister of interior on to the security officials in Damietta who abandoned their role as the protectors of citizens’ rights and dignity,” the statement continued.

The lawyers held the interior minister responsible for every violation committed by security personnel, saying “he should be held accountable in front of the Egyptian people and the political leaders of the country.” Their statement said the only solution to this ongoing problem was the complete reform and reconstruction of the security apparatus at large.

In March, more than 100 lawyers staged a protest in front of the syndicate headquarters in downtown Cairo after lawyer Karim Hamdy was allegedly tortured to death by police officers at the Matareya police station. 

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