Judge-lawyer tensions escalate at Egypt's Supreme Courthouse

Ahram Online, Saturday 29 Oct 2011

Several lawyers broke in to Egypt's Supreme Courthouse in protest over judges' handling of demonstrations last night that ended with gunshots in the air

Several lawyers broke into the back door of the Supreme Courthouse before the eyes of security forces on Saturday

These lawyers actually had returned to protest after they clashed with judges yesterday night (Friday).

A host of attorneys surrounded the courthouse yesterday, trying to prevent judges from leaving after finishing their General Assembly meeting to discuss last week's demonstrations by lawyers against amendments to a law that regulates the judiciary.

As tensions escalated, some judges fired several rounds in the air to disperse the protesting lawyers, who the next day returned to vent more anger.

After penetrating the Supreme Courthouse, one pro-government group of lawyers stood next to the door to ensure no one could barricade the judges in. Another group of lawyers gathered on the stairs and chanted anti-judges slogans and denounced their use of guns on Friday.

On Monday, thousands of lawyers staged demonstrations to protest proposed amendments to a new judiciary authority law.

Describing the amendments as “null and void,” the angry protesters amassed outside the Lawyers Syndicate in downtown Cairo. “Young lawyers are united,” they chanted. “The people demand the judiciary be purged.”

Lawyers later moved their demonstration to the nearby High Court and Judges Club headquarters.

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