Egypt Lawyers Syndicate declares strike to protest lawyers’ imprisonment

Ahram Online , Thursday 19 Jan 2023

Egypt’s Lawyers Syndicate announced Thursday an "indefinite" strike to protest the imprisonment of six lawyers for a court brawl with three clerks earlier this month in Marsa Matrouh governorate.

Lawyers syndicate
Lawyers syndicate


"We are immediately suspending all of our activities, we will stop appearing before the criminal courts and participating in public prosecution investigations nationwide from 19 January and for an indefinite period," it said in a statement published on Facebook late on Wednesday and shared by lawyers across the social media.

A Marsa Matrouh Criminal court sentenced six lawyers on Wednesday to two years in prison for their part in a fight with three clerks during a court session in the governorate on 5 January.

The convicted lawyers have appealed their sentences, with a hearing set for 22 January.

The lawyers' syndicate said in its statement there was "a clear intention" to keep the six lawyers in detention "without real justification", denouncing the "rush to bring them to trial without taking the time to carry out a real investigation."

The syndicate in Cairo also called for an urgent joint meeting between the syndicate’s board and the heads of the lawyers’ sub-syndicates in the governorates on 20 January to discuss the possible legal actions and tracks concerning the upcoming appeal.

The syndicate also launched the hashtag “the dignity of lawyers is a red line” in Arabic on social media.

Renowned lawyer and member of the Presidential Pardon Committee Tarek El-Awady declared on Wednesday his support for the move by the syndicate to suspend all activities.

On Thursday, El-Awady and several other lawyers travelled to Marsa Matrouh to show their support to their colleagues.

The syndicate has called for a meeting of its members on Friday to discuss the situation.

In December, dozens of lawyers demonstrated in front of the syndicate in Cairo to protest obligatory registration in the new electronic invoice system as required by the Egyptian Tax Authority.

The lawyers’ move attracted other professions including actors and engineers to declare their protest against the new system, leading the Ministry of Finance to extend the registration deadline to the end of April 2023.

In its first reaction to the lawyers syndicate's call for a strike, following Matrouh Criminal court’s sentence, Egypt’s Judges Club said that its board was following the repercussions of that call to take the appropriate measure in a timely manner.

The club added in a statement released on Thursday that its media centre was monitoring social media closely to see if there are any violations or insults against the Egyptian judiciary or judges or employees and that it will address these violations by reporting them to the authorities and will take legal measures in that regard. 

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