By Nourhan Dakroury
A group of disabled persons who were protesting outside of the Sharqeya governorate building were attacked and physically assaulted by security forces on Sunday.
As a result, four of the protesters were admitted into hospital, two of whom are suffering from concussions.
The attacks came after protests outside of the Sharqeya governorate building, with those present demanding their right to work, proper housing, education and health care, according to Muhamed Abou Zikri, a lawyer at Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR).
Abou Zikri claimed that the attacks were sparked by an argument between the protesters and several microbus drivers in the area.
Security forces then attacked the protesters, while the drivers disappeared from the scene, according to Abou Zikri.
He said that the ECESR has sent lawyers to Sharqeya to investigate what happened.
Two organisations concerned with disabled persons rights, the Civil Council for People with Disabilities and the People with Disabilities Syndicate, are currently discussing their legal stance with the ECESR and planning a media outreach campaign.
This incident is not the first of its kind in Egypt, Abou Zikri added.
El-Seba’y Bahei El-Din, a member of the Beheira Subcommittee of the National Council of Disability, said that a similar case occurred in October 2012, when a number of disabled persons were protesting outside the Presidential Palace.
“People with disabilities are suffering throughout the country, but they are suffering even more in Sharqeya,” Bahei El- Din said.
He said that the former governor of Sharqeya had hired a large number of disabled people, with salaries of EGP 80 per month.
Bahei El-Din added that there are between 12 and 15 million people with disabilities in Egypt, which is reason enough for the state to start addressing their rights and needs.
The Sharqeya Governorate could not be reached for comment.