Egypt’s Supreme Judicial Council has forced 32 judges into retirement for not supporting the army’s ousting of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, an Egyptian official said.
The decision taken on Monday 28th of March, 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.
The International Commission for Jurists (ICJ) urged Egyptian government 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.