Update: Lawyers Syndicate condemns Nasr City clashes

The Lawyers Syndicate head Sameh Ashour issued a strongly worded statement after an emergency syndicate meeting on Friday in response to clashes between lawyers and police officers in Nasr City.

He threatened escalation in lawyers’ protests, saying they would demonstrate in front of every police station unless the police officers involved in the Nasr City incident are suspended and referred to internal investigation by the Interior Ministry.

He said that the syndicate would send a delegation to meet with President Mohamed Morsy to discuss the lawyers’ demands.

Ashour asked that all lawyers who are currently defending police officers in trials withdraw their representation until the lawyers’ demands are met. He also expressed his support for the sit-in in front of the Nasr City police station.

Clashes broke out in Nasr City between police officers and a number of lawyers on Friday morning after the lawyers attempted to storm a police station. State-run news agency MENA reported that six lawyers and seven policemen were injured, and lawyers began an open-ended sit-in to protest the incident.

An argument allegedly took place between a police officer and a lawyer after the lawyer insisted that he see a client who was being transferred to prosecution, which escalated into the lawyer physically and verbally assaulting the policeman.  

When a lieutenant intervened, the attorney allegedly attacked him as well.

The lawyer’s colleagues then gathered outside the police station and attempted to storm it, MENA reports. Police fired into the air to disperse the crowd, which had begun throwing rocks, and imposed a security cordon around the station.

The injured were transferred to a hospital.

The local prosecution has begun an investigation into the incident.

Lawyers set up a tent outside the police station and demanded that the police officers involved in the clashes be brought to trial.

“We won’t let down out colleagues. They were insulted and assaulted while they were doing their job,” protester Mohamed Saqr said.

Montasser al-Zayat, a rights lawyer and activist, called on President Mohamed Morsy to intervene and demanded an apology from the interior minister for the actions of the police.

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