Following a meeting with the Minister of Interior Brigadier Mohamed Ibrahim, the head of the Lawyers’ Syndicate on Tuesday said a preliminary agreement was struck that would calm tensions between litigators and officers after a weekend brawl in Nasr City.
Despite protests continuing at the Lawyers’ Syndicate, Sameh Ashour, head of the syndicate, said he agreed with Brigadier Ibrahim on renewing a circular – which dictated clear guidelines for how to deal with lawyers in police departments — in order to overcome an impasse.
“This is a very valuable decision,” Khaled Abu Kreisha, board member of the Lawyers’ Syndicate, said.
“The circular had long been there, and it was very effective right after its implementation. However, the Lawyers’ Syndicate has gone through a tough time, during which all norms and values included in the circular were lost.”
Abu Kreisha also added t now is the best time to renew the circular, since it coincides with calls from some police unions for boycotting lawyers inside police departments.
The decision came after a brawl erupted between policemen and lawyers attempting to reach a client in the Nasr City police station last weekend. Lawyer Mohamed Abdel Aziz was denied visiting a defendant Thursday night by police, which quickly descended into fighting. The brawl left several lawyers injured after being attacked by the policemen – around eight lawyers were injured.
The public prosecution is officially investigating the incident, whereas Ibrahim has assigned the inspection and censorship sector in the ministry to conduct immediate investigations with officials at the police department.
Abu Kreisha said lawyers are waiting for the results of both investigations, even though the decision to renew the circular seemed like “a good indicator.”
A lawsuit was filed with the Nasr City attorney general’s office, accusing six lawyers of destroying public property and assaulting employees while doing their jobs, according to Abu Kreisha. The suit also demands the referral of seven policemen to the forensics unit to document their injuries as a result of the brawl.
Lawyers had been protesting in front of the Nasr City police department since Friday. The protest was then moved to be held in front of the Lawyers’ Syndicate, after four days.