Egypt retires 32 judges for opposing Morsi’s ouster



Egypt’s Supreme Judicial Council has forced 32 judges into retirement for having opposed the army’s ousting of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, an official has said.

The decision taken on Monday was part of the authorities’ crackdown on all forms of dissent, including secularists and liberals, since July 2013, when then-army chief, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, ousted Morsi following mass protests against his rule.

“Today, the Supreme Judicial Council took a decision to force 32 judges into retirement for intervening in politics and supporting a certain party,” after the ousting of Morsi, a senior official from the council told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

Last week, the council took similar action against 15 other judges for the same reason.

The International Commission for Jurists (ICJ) urged Egypt to reverse the decision on the judges.

“The intensity of Egypt’s attacks against individual judges is reaching a frightening level,” said Said Benarbia, Middle East and North Africa director at the ICJ.

He said the move sends a “chilling message to others who might challenge the ongoing crackdown on fundamental rights and freedoms in Egypt”.

The council official said that some of the judges had openly declared their opposition to Morsi’s ousting in a signed statement at Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.

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