Egypt lawyers vote on renewing confidence in syndicate head, board

Ahram Online , Sunday 17 Jul 2016

Lawyers vote on whether to keep Sameh Ashour as head of the Lawyers' Syndicate after a proposal to withdraw confidence from him and the board

Sameh Ashour
Head of Lawyers' Syndicate Sameh Ashour

Egypt's lawyers have started voting on whether they hold confidence in the Lawyers' Syndicate's current head, Sameh Ashour, and its board. The vote comes after a group of lawyers campaigned for withdrawing confidence from Ashour.

Lawyer Montaser El-Zayat, leading the campaign against Ashour, told Ahram Online that the objection is mainly based on the syndicate head's "inability to protect lawyers."

According to El-Zayat, the syndicate head approved the 2014 Constitution's Article 198, which he argues allows the arrest of lawyers during their work.

"Lawyers are already being humiliated in police stations. Two lawyers were killed in police stations last year, and 400 lawyers are currently imprisoned," Al-Zayat says. He also claims the syndicate is suffering from financial corruption.

In February 2015, two police officers were arrested and accused of killing lawyer Karim Hamdy inside a police station in Cairo's low-income district of Matariya.

Meanwhile, several lawyers have over recent years been arrested and face charges, including the recent arrest of rights lawyer Malek Adly who has been detained in solitary confinement since May. 

Syndicate head Ashour refused to comment to Ahram Online until after the vote result scheduled to be announced late Sunday.

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