A group of lawyers from the Front to Defend Protesters have started a solidarity campaign with detained lawyer Mahienour El-Massry, as they gathered in Alexandria ahead of a court verdict expected on Sunday in the case publicly known as the “El-Raml police station clashes.”
A statement issued by the front, which is predominantly concerned with human rights issues, condemned all kinds of assaults faced by lawyers on a daily basis, while performing their jobs. Furthermore, the group stated that even objections to such treatment and demands for protection of the practice are met with jailing and fabricated charges.
Accordingly, the front called for a “stance of protest” to be taken by lawyers, and to remind their syndicate that it needs to stand up for them in such situations. According to lawyer Mokhtar Mounir, they were planning a sit-in at the syndicate in Alexandria on the day of the verdict, Sunday.
Shortly thereafter, the Lawyers’ Syndicate in Alexandria strongly condemned police brutality against lawyers and announced its full support for El-Massry.
Journalist Youssef Sha’aban is also detained with El-Massry, in a case that dates back to March 2013, when pro-Muslim Brotherhood members assaulted some activists and drove them to the police station.
Lawyers, including El-Massry, who went for assistance, were prevented from entering the station and were assaulted by police personnel inside. They are now facing charges of attacking the police.
“There were also complaints against the police officers, but nothing has been done about that,” stated Maysoun El-Massry, Mahienour’s sister, in a press conference last week at the Press Syndicate.
“My sister and her colleagues were arrested because they were defending their dignity as lawyers. They are being charged with storming the police office without concrete evidence. We don’t know what they used to break in. All the eye-witnesses are from the police’s side, with no local residents who might have possibly witnessed this so-called break in,” she added.
Meanwhile, journalists are also leading a campaign to support Sha’aban. They have filed a complaint signed by Yehia Qallash, head of the Press Syndicate, to the Prosecutor General demanding Sha’aban’s release.