Matariya doctors were summoned for testimony before an Interior Ministry disciplinary committee on Saturday, one of the doctors confirmed to Daily News Egypt.
An assault on two doctors from Matariya hospital in late January by low-ranking police officers caused widespread outrage from members of the medical profession.
The Doctors Syndicate continued their protest in front of public hospitals on Saturday, demanding that the accused police officers be referred to trial.
However, according to one of the doctors summoned to the disciplinary committee, the Interior Ministry summoned the assaulted doctors for an internal hearing session, away from the official investigations by the prosecution, to hear their testimony and decide on an appropriate penalty for the police officers.
A representative from the Lawyers Syndicate accompanied the doctors to provide legal assistance during interrogation.
“Many of the summoned personnel who work at the hospital were fearful of attending the session and refused to come,” the doctor told Daily News Egypt.
“This step will probably reduce the sentence for the doctors especially as they still deny committing any assaults, but it also indicates that the ministry is becoming more aware of the pressing need to take action against the accused police officers,” he added
Doctors assembled on Saturday morning in front of Al-Mounira public hospital in downtown Cairo along with syndicate board members proclaiming their demands. They carried signs demanding the trial of the police officers who attacked the Matariya doctors in order to preserve the dignity of doctors. Other signs demanded legislative protection for healthcare facilities and called from the criminalisation of assault against doctors.
According to an official statement by the syndicate, the assembly did not hinder the workflow inside the hospital.
The police officers accused of assaulting two of Matariya doctors were released 24 hours following their arrest, pending investigations. “The release of the police officers is suspicious and we are still hoping to refer them to trial,” syndicate chief Ihab Al-Taher previously told Daily News Egypt.
Thousands gathered in a general assembly held at the Doctors Syndicate in mid-February and voted on a set of decisions, including the referral of the police officers accused of assaulting Matariya doctors to trial, and the provision of free healthcare for further examinations and medications, with the exception of the fee for the mandatory ticket paid for general medical examinations.