Baheyya's back

All you ever wanted to know about the Egyptian judiciary and the current attack on reformist judges, but were afraid to ask:

The pattern governing all of the actions this week is clear: the regime is leaning on certain judges to activate seemingly unobjectionable procedural mechanisms to punish prominent reformist judges, who are portrayed as errant deviants undermining the stature and integrity of the judicial profession. Now, there is a real rift between Egyptian judges, particularly visible in the last four years. This rift widened into a yawning chasm after the parliamentary elections, as reports swiftly circulated telling of certain judges colluding to fix results in the critical districts of Damanhour, Madinat Nasr, Quellin, Doqqi, and Kerdasa, to name but a handful. Bastawisi and Mekky rightly assert that they have never accused any of their colleagues; indeed, the Club committee preparing a report on parliamentary elections is still not finished precisely because it is scrupulously compiling reliable data on the vote count at each and every auxiliary polling station in each of the contested districts. However, this investigative work is itself perturbing, and judges whose initials appeared on the Bar Association’s blacklist have had their reputations sullied and wish to silence their colleagues.
You really have to read it all if you care about this issue. Also see this BBC piece about the judges' sit-in.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.