Egypt's lawyers’ syndicate decided on Monday to form a team in order to take legal action against a recent court verdict sentencing eight lawyers in absentia to 25 years in jail for "insulting the judiciary.”
The syndicate’s general board and the local board in Upper Egypt's Minya, where the verdict was issued, decided on Monday to file an appeal against the court ruling.
Sameh Ashour, head of the syndicate, told Ahram Arabic news website that he had met with Justice Minister Ahmed El-Zend and discussed this "unprecedented" verdict.
Ashour asserted that the syndicate will provide legal support to the convicted lawyers.
On Sunday, a court in Minya sentenced eight lawyers in absentia to 25 years in prison, and one lawyer, who was present in court, to three years, all on charges of "insulting the judiciary and rioting in Matay court house.”
The charge of "insulting the judiciary" has been increasingly used against defendants and writers.
Twenty-five people, including former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, academic and ex-MP Amr Hamzawy and, liberal activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah, are currently facing charges of “insulting the judicial authority and its men with the purpose of spreading hatred.”