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Suspension of judges ‘violation’ to judicial independence: Rights group - Daily News Egypt

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Suspension of judges ‘violation’ to judicial independence: Rights group

Previously published leaks suggested government intervention in judiciary


The latest suspension of judges in Egypt, allegedly for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, has been sharply criticised (AFP/ POOL/ File)
The latest suspension of judges in Egypt, allegedly for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, has been sharply criticised
(AFP/ POOL/ File)

The latest suspension of 41 judges on charges of supporting former president Mohamed Morsi is a violation to judiciary independence, the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms said Sunday.

The suspension came after the Cairo Appeals Court forced into retirement 41 Egyptian judges on for allegedly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

The rights group said that the verdict is considered another “massacre of the judges’ rights, and the freedoms of individuals are being violated”.

It argued that the Ministry of Justice has double standards, as the 41 judges were suspended due to their political views, while other judges have pledged allegiance to the current regime publically in different media outlets, and remain untouched.

“The incident is a severe violation to the independence of the judicial authority, and shows the extent to which the executive is involved in the legal system,” the statement read.

The group warned against the negative consequences of this incident, arguing that it will make “citizens feel that justice in the country is limited only to the supporters of the current political regime”.

Out of the 70 judges involved in the case, 41 were dismissed. Fifty-five of the judges were charged with signing a statement of support for former president Mohamed Morsi and the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, in protest over the military takeover on 3 July, 2013.

A number of judges read a statement in Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square. They argued that “what happened on 3 July [2013] is a military coup and we demand that the Egyptian people support the constitutional legitimacy”.

The law to regulate the judicial authorities stipulates that any judge who is referred to a disciplinary committee is to stand trial, with the possibility of suspension from judicial duties.

In December 2014, an alleged five-minute phone conversation was leaked, where two military figures were heard discussing ways to convince the judge in the Abu Zaabal police van case to accept listening to testimonies of the accused officers’ colleagues.

The alleged leak refers to an incident that took place in August 2013, when 37 detained protesters were killed when a teargas canister was shot into a vehicle transporting them from the Heliopolis Police Station to Abu Zaabal Prison.

The judiciary in Egypt has become a controversial issue, with activists citing harsh sentences and mass death sentences against protesters and alleged members of Islamist groups.

The latest criticism of the Egyptian judiciary included the dismissal of charges against former president Hosni Mubarak, as well as the sentences against protesters charged with violating the controversial Protest Law.

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https://dailyfeed.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/03/16/suspension-of-judges-violation-to-judicial-independence-rights-group/
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