An Egyptian court has sentenced a doctor and two hospital workers to two years in prison each for humiliating a nurse by making him kneel before a dog – and forcing the man to give the animal a salute.
The three men were also ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 Egyptian pounds (about $6,300) each, in a sentence that can be appealed.
The case caused uproar in Egypt when a video showing the incident went viral after being leaked last month. The outcry drove the country's chief prosecutor, Hamada El Sawy, to issue an arrest warrant for the three men and order an investigation.
Prosecutors in September announced that they found the men bullied the worker and abused power. Their conduct was contempt of religion, officials said.
The three were also charged with “attacking Egyptian family values” and breaching the nurse's privacy when they posted the video online.
Though the men denied it, the investigation determined that one of them had leaked the video online with the intention of publicly humiliating the nurse.
The three men claimed the incident was a joke and that humiliating the nurse was not their intention. However, the investigation also determined that this was not the first time they had treated the nurse badly.
When the three men were brought in for questioning in September, they confessed that the video was indeed authentic and that all the acts depicted in it took place.
The confession was corroborated by the victim and a number of witnesses.
Mr El Sawy said one of the men had tried to evade arrest before being detained last month.
“While abusing their power and exploiting his weakness, the men's intent was to ridicule and demean," he said.
The Egyptian Health Ministry said last month that the senior doctor implicated in the incident had been fired over the incident.
The doctor was later interviewed by a popular Egyptian talk show host in September, claiming that the whole incident was a practical joke and that the nurse understood that all he was asked to do in the leaked video was in jest.
The nurse corroborated this during a phone-in with the same host, although he said that he did not consent to having the incident posted online for all to see. He said he regretted that the video was seen by his family.