Clashes erupted between patients (who sustained their injuries during the 25 January revolution) nurses and hospital security in Qasr Al-Eini hospital on Wednesday night, leaving a number of injuries on both sides.
Activists surrounded the hospital, where clashes continued as the hospital security and the military police secured the building. Five activists and six “revolutionary victims” were then taken to Al-Sayeda Zeinab police department, where the patients pressed charges against the hospital security and military police.
State-owned news agency MENA reported that clashes occurred when nurses refused to grant a patient permission to leave the hospital for the Eid vacation, saying that he was not fit enough to leave hospital.
“Mustafa Abdel Dayem, a revolutionary victim suffering from Quadriplegia, wanted to leave alongside other victims in order to attend a celebration organised on their behalf in the International Garden,” Asma’ Al-Gredley, an activist working on the file of those injured during the 2011 revolution, said.
Al-Gredley explained that such a procedure was frequently exercised without any complications whenever any of the victims wanted to take temporary leave. This time, however, there was inexplicable “intransigence” practiced by the nurses.
“A verbal feud soon erupted, attracting another revolutionary victim, Ahmed Abdel Khalek, who had just had leg surgery four days ago,” Al-Gredley said.
Al-Gredley claimed that the nurse kept calling Abdel Dayem and Abdel Khalek names and cursing the revolution, as both parties went down to complain to the police. At that moment, Hagga Salha, an elderly woman who works with Heba Al-Sewedy, entered the hospital reception and was pushed to the ground by the nurse, according to Al-Gredley.
“I was out getting some medicine,” Hagga Salha said, “I returned to find military police all over the place. I don’t know what happened.”
“The military police started beating Abdel Khalek on his wounded leg,” Al-Gredley said, adding that Abdel Khalek passed out from the beatings.
Al-Gredley tried to return Abdel Khalek back to his room to help avoid further attacks, only to be chased by hospital security who kept cursing them and calling them names.
“They were beating them with belts, medical carriers, and scalpels,” Al-Gredley said.
Some of the patients called activists outside the hospital, asking for help.
“A maximum of 20 activists rallied outside hospital,” said Mahmoud Belal, one of the lawyers who helped the victims file reports, “the security thought they were attempting to break into hospital, so they stood outside with chair parts trying to protect the hospital.”
Belal stressed that the activists did not attack hospital buildings, neither did they get inside. The hospital security attacked them by throwing rocks.
Al-Gredley was removed form the scene by police officers who arrived from Sayeda Zeinab police department, and took her with four other activists and six patients.
“We were treated by the police with utmost respect,” Al-Gredley said, “they told us they were only taking us away to protect us from the attacks taking place in hospital.”
Al-Gredley stated that at least five “revolutionary victims” were injured following the clashes. MENA reported one minor injury on the side of the patients and three injuries on the side of nurses.
Belal confirmed that no charges were pressed against either the revolutionary victims or the activists taken to the police department.
“Yet, the six victims pressed charges,” Belal said, adding that apart from any legal punishment, the nurses responsible for the attack should get fired.
Islam, Shenouda Mos’ad, Mohamed Ahmed Awad, Wafa’ Fathy, Rabie Mohamed, Mohamed Fouad and Mohamed Fathy are the hospital patients who pressed charges.
“We returned to hospital with the victims to find it secured by police officers,” Al-Gredley said, adding that the police assured them the hospital was now under the protection of the Ministry of Interior and not hospital security.
Al-Gredley stated that president Mohamed Morsy’s legal advisor Mohamed Gad Allah and the new head of the revolutionary victims’ fund Khaled Badawy both assured the victims that investigation into the clashes have started and that the victims shall be treated at the expense of the state.
“The revolutionary victims’ fund has almost EGP 200 million,” Al-Gredley said, “yet its former head Hosni Saber was very corrupt that he never used the money in helping the victims.”
Al-Gredley launched a campaign three months ago alongside other activists, Mohamed Mohsen and Medhat Abdel Dayem, to help generate media attention about the patients still awaiting treatment.
Patients injured during the revolution have been facing difficulties in their treatment process since the revolution. Most of them cannot afford treatment.
“Already five victims have died in Qasr Al-Eini due to negligence,” Al-Gredley said.