Police reportedly shoot out activist's right eye in Mansour Street clashes

Police reportedly shoot out activist's right eye in Mansour Street clashes

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Fri, 03/02/2012 - 17:00

An activist has reportedly lost his right eye after being shot by security forces in clashes on Mansour Street Friday afternoon, as protesters continued to push toward the Interior Ministry.

Boutros Youssef Abdel Massih, 31, a Coptic activist with the Maspero Youth Union, was transferred to Qasr al-Aini Hospital where he underwent surgery. Members of the Coptic group have reportedly retrieved the casing of the bullet Massih was shot with.

“The victim is an air-conditioning technician who works for a private company. He completely lost his right eye after being struck by a bullet that destroyed his iris, a membrane in the eye,” youth union member Mina Thabet told the state-owned Middle East News Agency.

Earlier in the day, Ayman Ahmed, a volunteer doctor at a field hospital set up at Dobara Palace Evangelical Church near Tahrir Square, said four people were wounded in the eye by live ammunition in the early hours of Friday morning, and that one was a child no more than 12 years old.

Prominent activist Gigi Ibrahim has written on her Twitter account that 19 people lost both of their eyes in the clashes outside the Interior Ministry, with 14 being treated at Qasr al-Aini Hospital and five at Dokki Hospital. Her account could not be independently confirmed.

Last November, police were accused of intentionally targeting protesters' eyes with sniper rifles during clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud Street also near the Interior Ministry. A local human rights watchdog has documented 60 cases of eye injuries in those clashes. According to the records of those injured at Qasr al-Aini Hospital, their eye injuries varied between burst corneas, burst eye sockets and foreign bodies being lodged in different parts of the eye.

Ahmed, the Tahrir doctor, added that his field hospital reported its first death Friday morning: an Ain Shams resident named Ali Hassan Makhlouf, 32. Makhlouf was reportedly killed shotgun pellets that penetrated his ribcage and a lung.