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Doctors to protest against police abuse on March 12, 19

The Doctors’ Syndicate said on Monday it will hold protests on March 12 and 19 to condemn ongoing assaults by security personnel against medical workers.

The syndicate said in a statement that the demonstrations will take place outside its Cairo headquarters as well as at major hospitals across all governorates.

The statement added that the events will voice demands for “dignity for doctors, security for hospitals and the enforcement of laws holding assailants of doctors and medical facilities accountable.”

The protests will not interfere with delivering medical care to patients, said the syndicate, adding that participants will ensure no political slogans are voiced during the demonstrations.

The issue of police brutality against medical staff came to the fore in February when the Doctors’ Syndicate voted for action in response to an incident at Matareya Hosptial. The incident in January involved claims by two doctors that they were beaten and arrested by police for refusing to falsify a medical report.

The doctors were taken to the Matareya police station, but they threatened to press charges against police for wrongful arrest and physical assault. The doctors later dropped their charges after alleged threats from the police that they would be detained and prosecuted on trumped-up charges.

The hospital closed on January 1, and the Doctors’ Syndicate took up the complaint on behalf of the two doctors, organizing a general assembly meeting on February 12. Syndicate members voted to hold protest action later that month, including providing free health care to patients, while also demanding the resignation of Health Minister Ahmed Emad for his failure to stand up for doctors.

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