Egypt's Islamist groups postpone planned Friday rally for 'purge' of judiciary

Ahram Online , Thursday 25 Apr 2013

Muslim Brotherhood and seven other Islamist groups call off planned Friday rally against Mubarak-era judiciary to allow for 'rational' discussion of judicial authority law

Pro-Mursi protesters conduct Friday prayers outside the Supreme Court, before a demonstration calling upon Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi to achieve judicial reforms, in Cairo April 19, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Eight Egyptian Islamist parties and groups on Thursday announced plans to postpone planned Friday protests to call for the 'purge' of Egypt's judiciary from Mubarak-era elements.

The groups included the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, the Salafist Asala Party, the Building and Development Party, the Wasat Party, the Islah Party, the Amal Al-Gedid Party and the Peaceful Front for the Protection of the Revolution.

Last Friday, Islamist groups staged thousands-strong protests outside Egypt's High Court in downtown Cairo against the judiciary, which they accuse of failing to convict former regime figures implicated in criminal activity.

In a joint statement on Thursday, the groups attributed their decision to postpone the planned rally to recent developments on the political stage, particularly the ongoing review of a controversial judicial authority law (no.46/1972) by Egypt's Shura Council (the upper house of parliament, currently endowed with legislative powers).

According to the statement, the decision was taken to allow for an "atmosphere of calm in which to discuss the law within the framework of rationality and concern for the interests of the judiciary, which is in the interest of the homeland."

On 19 April, Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters took to the streets in the thousands to call for a 'purge' of the judiciary. Clashes ensued after unknown assailants attacked protesters outside the High Court, resulting in dozens of injuries.

The protests came within the context of the ongoing crisis between the judiciary, represented by the unofficial Egyptian Judges Club, and the presidency.     

On Wednesday evening, the judges club, headed by Judge Ahmed El-Zend, convened a general assembly meeting at which El-Zend called on President Mohamed Morsi to apologise for alleged "insults" to Egypt's judiciary by Islamist figures.

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