Police in Jerusalem beat, choked and handcuffed an 85-year-old Coptic priest during a widely reported altercation in the Old City almost two weeks ago, which also involved several Egyptian diplomatic officials, a video revealed. . . .
The incident occurred on Saturday, May 4, the day before the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church’s observance of Easter. The head of the Coptic church in Ramallah, Father Arsanios, who lives in Jerusalem, was leading a group of visiting dignitaries to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City when he found himself being subdued by a group of policemen stationed to manage the holiday crowds. . . .
As that group tried to enter, Arsanios said, they were suddenly accosted by the police, who “threw one priest on the stairs and one of the officers stomped on him like a dog.”
“We didn’t do anything,” he added. “They pulled at me, beat me all over and when I was on the ground, put handcuffs on me.”
The six-minute video begins with Arsanios already in a physical struggle with the police, after which an officer puts him into a choke hold from behind and throws him to the ground as a crowd of police, residents and tourists look on. Arsanios briefly lost consciousness during the alternation [sic], was treated at a Jerusalem hospital and was subsequently released without serious injury.