Egyptian attendees of a project launch in Cyprus were violently beaten by nightclub bouncers, says Ines Gohar, who shares a harrowing account of the brutal attack.
We mentioned in a previous article that the son of a Billionaire was involved in the fight which occurred below, this however turned out to be incorrect as said son was actually in Egypt at the time.
An Egyptian woman’s horrifying account of the brutal attack suffered by a group of Egyptians attending a corporate launch in Cyprus has sparked social media outrage, as authorities offered no response to the dramatic incident.
The woman, Egyptian fashion buyer and icon Ines Gohar, was attending the launch of a development project at the Soho nightclub in Ayia Napa, when the club’s bouncers reportedly began beating, kicking, and attacking attendees with pepper spray. On Saturday, Greek news portal InCyprus had reported that 10 people received treatment for minor injuries at Cyprus’ Paralimni General Hospital after a brawl broke out between bouncers of the Soho nightclub and the employees of an Egyptian businessman who was heading a development project in Ayia Napa. But, according to Gohar’s account, the events took a different turn:
I was hit and attacked in Cyprus by bouncers at SOHO club in Ayia Napa.
My husband and I were invited to join a trip in Cyprus this weekend for the launch of a development project in Ayia Napa. We were hosted as indicated on the invite by the international developers who invited us to attend an event “in the presence of H.E The President of the Republic of Cyprus”.
We arrived there Thursday evening (sept 29th, 2016), went to an organized dinner and then joined everyone else at a nightclub called SOHO in Ayia Napa.
Everything seemed fine in the Club, bottles of champagne had been ordered and people were happy and dancing. The DJ had just announced the name of our host on the mic, we cheered, everybody seemed in a party mood… when all of a sudden, we found ourselves in what looked like a war zone.
We were many from Egypt in this club, all here for the same reason: this launch, but all of a sudden it seemed like we were in an occupied territory, fighting men in black t-shirts that all looked the same.
My journalistic genes kicked in and I took my phone out to record what was going on. At that point I hadn't realized that it was ONLY bouncers attacking all the Egyptians present in the club, so since some bouncers weren't far from me, securing the entrance of the club, I guess I figured I was in a somewhat secure zone (I was up the stairs that lead to the club and the fight had moved down the stairs in the street). I actually didn't think, I was just looking around and seeing everyone I know being hit so violently, I could see blood and people on the floor and crowds of people going from right to left, screaming, crying, yelling, hurting. So I started filming.
It didn't take long until the bouncers realized what I was doing. One of them jumped on me and hit me and said “no video” and tried to take my phone from me. So I started screaming as loud as I could. I guess I watched enough self defense and security videos who repeat over and over that when you are attacked, you should scream - So I did - but my attackers didn't like that very much, so they jumped on me and hit me everywhere to take my phone away from me. I wouldn't let go of my phone. My phone is not backed up and I have 22.000 pictures and videos on it. You don't take my phone.
But the man kept on hitting and I kept on screaming hoping one of the Egyptians would hear me and come help me, but they didn’t. The Bouncer threw me on the ground, hit me more and put his fingers in my mouth, he hooked my cheek with his fingers from inside my mouth and pulled my face so hard, at this point I let go of my phone. But when one of the two men attacking me took the phone (not sure when the second joined in, by that time I was already on the ground) it fell off his hands so I tried to grab it as I was already on the floor. His colleague grabbed me by my hair, dragged me and hit me in my jaw. I couldn't do anything. I could no longer scream nor move nor do anything. I couldn't feel my face nor body. I just saw the bouncer take my phone and enter the club.
I was left right there, the Egyptian men were down in the war zone, I was on the stairs at the entrance of the club faced by my attackers unable to do anything.
I didn't leave, I stayed there and kept on begging them to get me back my phone, they kept on telling me to wait. I told them I will unlock the phone and delete the video in front of them but that I needed the many years of pictures that are in my phone. They would talk to each other in languages I don't speak (id say some sort of eastern european language but I'm not sure) and suddenly just all adopted the same strategy: stare at me and repeat: “I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH”.
The manager of the club eventually appeared playing the role of the “good guy” and trying to make me believe that perhaps the guys who attacked me weren't his men and that he would of course help me get my phone back and that we would clearly see on the surveillance camera who attacked me. They told me to wait. They pretended to check the pockets of customers exiting the club, as if it would be with one of them. I waited and waited until I finally understood I wasn't gonna get anything back. My husband was informed I got hit and when he tried to come to me up the stairs a bouncer kicked him in the face with his foot, my husband has the shoe sole design stamped on his cheek from how hard the kick was… sounds like its Ayia Napa’s latest fashion trend, as we were told there are fights at this club every other day.
By that time the police had arrived, but the police didn't come up the stairs that lead to the club, they didn’t talk to the manager that was just there, they didn't go in to turn off the music, they didn't do anything other than tell us we had to go to the police station and to the hospital. THE POLICE DID NOTHING. So I went to talk to a police officer and told him that I was hit and robbed right under this surveillance camera and that they should go and get it and that everything would show. He told me he couldn't, that he needed a court order to do that and that anyways this video will be deleted immediately by the club.
I got in the police car and went to the police station and hospital.
This is when I saw how many of us were injured, how many had their heads open and their eyes pepper sprayed and how the attackers used the same strategy: they pepper spray you, you turn around, they hit you with sticks on your head and on ur back.
At the hospital I saw more injured egyptians, people being stitched, they were telling one he might loose his eye, another couldn't breath and i’ll spare you the amount of blood I saw that night. I had never seen that much blood in my entire life.
Soon, very soon, I started understanding that all this was out of our hands and that we wouldn't get our rights and that all this was just a masquerade but I decided to leave a deposition anyways.
Here are a few facts:
1- The bouncers were about 5 at first and then many others arrived out of no where, like they were just waiting,
2- They all were trained the same way and using the same ways to attack us
3- They all looked the same, super large muscle guys, quite short and ready to fight
4- The police didn't intervene, didn't confront them, didn't close the club, didn't even shut down the music, in fact they just tried to have us leave the premises asap.
5 - The deposition was a joke. They wrote on a piece of paper everything I said happened and concluded they would call me if my phone turned-up. So I told the officer they didn't have my phone number to reach me, so it was added. I asked for a copy of my deposition, the officer said she couldn't give it to me, but my lawyer could later ask for it. So I asked for a reference/file number, she said she didn't have it.
6 - Later in the afternoon the police called us asking us to go back to the club after midnight to point out who hit us. I'm not joking, have you ever heard of something like that?!!!! They wanted us to go back to the club where we were hit and injured and look at the men who did that to us and point them out!!!! Like seriously?!!! All the injured people decided together not to go. They should have been taken to the police station, put behind a tinted window and we would have pointed them out but we will certainly not go risk our lives again.
7- Everybody in the city started explaining to us that it is known Soho is a club where trouble happens.
SO I STARTED DOING SOME REARCH.
As it turns out the owner of this club was shot dead in June 2016, just like his father who was shot dead a few years earlier, the owner of the club was the head of many shady businesses, believed to be involved in drug dealing. Some articles refer to him as the head of a mafia group. I also found an article mentioning that the godfather of this man’s son -who also was shot- was a police officer. Here is the link to the article.
A little research, the fact my phone that had recordings of the fight was taken away, the fact the surveillance videos weren't retrieved immediately, the fact the police didn’t even enter the club, the fact no one really cared what happened to me, to us, brings me to really wonder why we were attacked? If the bouncers didn't do anything wrong and only defended their property, then my video wouldn't have been a threat, would it?
All this I guess shows the police officer was right when he told me, looking at my swollen jaw: “You are lucky they didn't get the guns out”… but I have a hard time seeing where the luck is.
I am frustrated, traumatized, can’t stay home alone, get scared when I hear noise, cry each time I tell the story and can’t sleep. I keep reliving the hits and how these men attacked me. I keep remembering hits I had blocked out. My back hurts, my foot hurts, my jaw hurts but all this will heal. The years of family pictures they took from me are lost forever. The psychological trauma of being hit by men for simply filming what was happening will take time but will also heal so for now I guess I can just share my story with you and hope that voicing it will help me recover. It is too long, there are too many details and I know few will read it all but I can no longer repeat the story over the phone to my loved ones because it is still too painful, so the ones who love me and want to know what happened to me will have to read this book long chapter.
I was the guest of an event in Cyprus involving the president but I received no personalized apology by the authorities, no extra security until I exited the country and all the men that were injured didn't either. We just waited for our charter flight to take us back as there was no earlier flights anyways. And now we just have to heal. I should have called my embassy, perhaps the French would have helped me but I was just too shaken up to think straight.