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Egypt police beat lawyer over parking dispute

Ahmed Ramzi Alwan, an Egyptian lawyer was beaten up by Egyptian police over a parking dispute
Ahmed Ramzi Alwan, an Egyptian lawyer was beaten up by Egyptian police over a parking dispute

An Egyptian policeman has beaten up a lawyer in the city of Mahala in the Nile Delta over a parking dispute.

The picture of the Ahmed Ramzi Alwan shows that his right eye is completely swollen and there is a large gash with blood coming out of it under his left eye.

Ahmed Ramzi Alwan, an Egyptian lawyer was beaten up by Egyptian police over a parking dispute

Ahmed Ramzi Alwan, an Egyptian lawyer was beaten up by Egyptian police over a parking dispute

Following a verbal altercation between Alwan and the policeman, who has been identified as Lieutenant Abdul Rahman Al-Shabrawi of the Mahala Police Department, Alwan tried to object and in response Al-Shabrawi and two of his colleagues beat the lawyer.

Egyptian police are notorious for being violent, a key human rights concern in the country that was highlighted by the 2011 uprising in which they were to blame for the death of more than 800 protesters.

Authorities have long cultivated a culture of impunity over police brutality. The interior ministry has repeatedly denied responsibility for protester deaths with only two jailed over the demonstrators killed during the revolution.

Leaked Wikileaks cables released in early 2011 revealed that police brutality in the North African country is “routine and pervasive” and the use of torture so widespread that authorities no longer deny that it exists.

READ: Egypt spied on key opposition figures using mobile apps

A year before the uprising one of the icons of the revolution, Khaled Saeed, was beaten to death by two police officers in a stairwell in Alexandria. Authorities claimed he choked on a bag of drugs yet the images of his disfigured corpse fed the swelling discontent that eventually led to the revolution.

In 2013, following the coup, a video of a blindfolded man, naked from the waist up and with red marks on his shoulders and back, circulated. In the video he is whipped with a leather belt and told to say he is a woman.

The video underscored the brutal practices used by Egyptian police and confirmed that despite promises of change and reform, police brutality has in fact escalated since the uprising and the coup.

But it is an issue that strikes a chord with Egyptian citizens who often take to the streets when incidents are made known.

In 2015 police officers arrested papyrus seller Talaat Shabeeb at a café in the tourist city of Luxor then returned his body to his family bearing all the hallmarks of torture. It ignited huge protests across the city.

READ: Sisi resorts to ‘subsidies’ to contain Egyptian rage

In 2016 a plain clothed police officer shot a taxi driver in the head after a fight on the streets of Cairo, which ignited demonstrations outside police headquarters. The interior ministry initially tried to abdicate his responsibility saying he fired his weapon by mistake.

Also in 2016 two police officers assaulted two doctors at Matariya Hospital after they refused to tend to their non-urgent injuries ahead of other patients.

In September this year Karim Al-Khawaja, 45, was beaten to death at a police station in the Giza governorate though the interior ministry said he died of a heart attack.

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