Beating and Humiliating Copts in Cairo: Revealing the Egyptian Police's Ugly Face
On January 9th 2006, a woman named Hanan tried to buy some clothes from the Good Shepherd Center in Cairo's district of Shobra, which has a high Coptic concentration. The clothes were worth L.E. 270 but the woman tried to buy them for only 150.
Reymond, the owner's son, and Theresa, a shopkeeper refused. One hour later the woman returned with a large number of police forces and detectives from the Rod El Farag police station.
They ruined the center's goods and arrested Reymond and Theresa in a humiliating manner. Both were brought to the police station where they were accused of stealing L.E. 750 from Hanan. There, Reymond and Theresa learned that the woman was a relative of a police officer. Reymond's father was called to the Rod El Farag police station, where the officer who runs the station, namely Mahmoud El Sayed, threatened him saying: "Either you pay or your son will be humiliated and put in jail and tried for theft!" As the father insisted on his son's innocence and accused the woman of lying, the officer screamed at him saying: "Get out you thieves, I can put you in jail as well. As if we don't have enough problems with Reymonds, Theresas, Georges, Abdelmessihs, and all that garbage." (All are Christian names) The father was understandibly troubled, for he realized the story was religion-fueled, and that the officer was dicriminating against him, his son, and Theresa because of their Christianity.
When the father was taken to where Theresa and Reymond were detained, he found Theresa begging the woman and saying: "Ma'm, I'm like your daughter, would you accept for your daughter to be humiliated like this?" But the woman interrupted her: "Shut up you felth! You are nothing but a thief and a shopkeeper. My daughter is a physician!".
Then an officer called Mohamed EL Barbary got up and slapped Reymond and Theresa on their faces a number of times and screamed at the father's face: "Won't we ever finish with your headache? We can do more to your son and put him in jail, so you'd better pay the woman L.E. 750 and end that story." Fearing for his son and the shopkeeper, the father decided to give the woman the sum she wanted saying: "I entrust this money to God." So she pulled the money saying: "As if you (Christians) know God!".
The woman subsequently left with the officer in a police car with plates 21/2779.
For one last time, the officer looked at the father threating him: "I will teach you a good lesson! I will show up at the center and make you piss on yourselves when you see me!" A complaint was sent to the minister of interior dated Janaury 9th 2006, and another was sent to the head of the State security. Obviously no action was taked by either of them.