A new movement called the National Front to Save the Lawyers Syndicate (NSFL) is attempting to withdraw confidence from the current head of the Lawyers Syndicate, Samih Ashour, according to Mohamed Osman, one of the front’s founders.
“A total 1,117 lawyers have signed a petition to withdraw confidence from the syndicate’s current head Samih Ashour as a result of his violations. A general assembly will be held on 17 July to support these calls,” he told Daily News Egypt on Monday.
“The assembly will be the largest assembly in the history of the syndicate,” said Osman.
Recently, several lawyers, including former leading figures in the syndicate, declared the establishment of the NFSL to withdraw confidence from Ashour, and revealed a list of the violations he has committed.
According to the NFSL, Ashour’s violations include not fulfilling promises made upon his election, wasting the syndicate’s financial resources, and increasing segregation among lawyers.
Creating a divide in the Lawyers Syndicate, ”Support your Syndicate Head”, a campaign that promotes the opposite of the NFSL, was launched to confront calls for Ashour’s dismissal.
In an official statement issued by lawyer Sherif Askar, the campaign said in an official statement published last week that its main goals are to face recent calls to withdraw confidence from Ashour and to highlight his achievements.
“The idea for establishing the campaign stemmed from the destructive calls to withdraw confidence from the current head. We will face these calls to prevent subordination of the syndicate to judicial guardianship,” the statement read.
The group claimed that, during Ashour’s leadership, lawyers are enjoying several privileges that were only available after accurate planning and strategies executed by the syndicate.
Privileges included increasing financial resources of the syndicate, making health care affordable for lawyers, carrying out amendments that aim to increase pensions, providing transportation to lawyers, and inaugurating new lawyers clubs all over Egypt.
Lawyers were recently subjected to a number of abuses and violations. These violations varied from detention to assault.
Last week, lawyers from Abu Kabir in Sharqeya governorate launched a partial workers strike in Abu Kabir court.
The action came following the 15-day detention of two lawyers, pending investigations over charges of unlicensed protest, stirring riots, and disrupting public clerks from executing their jobs. The detention order came after a quarrel that erupted between a prosecutor and lawyer, according to eyewitness testimonies.
Following the strike and another assault on a lawyer in the city of Rashid, Ashour ordered the formation of a crisis management committee.
In early May, 12 lawyers received arrest warrants for protesting without a permit in front of the Lawyers Syndicate on 23 April.
During the same month, two lawyers were assaulted by officers from Dokki police station as tension escalated between lawyers and police over the arrest of protesters against the maritime demarcation deal between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.