Judge Bastawissi hospitalized

Hisham Bastawissi, one of two judges currently facing disciplinary action for having reported electoral fraud during last December's parliamentary elections, is reported to have been hospitalized this morning after having a heart attack. No doubt the stress of the past few weeks had a role in that.

Bastawissi was due to return to court tomorrow for another disciplinary hearing.

More info later as it becomes available.

Update: There is coverage of Bastawissi's condition at here (or here):

One of the judges at the center of a conflict between the Egyptian judiciary and the government had a heart attack on Wednesday, throwing into doubt the future of disciplinary proceedings against him.

In the Nile Delta town of Shibin el-Kom, police fired teargas to disperse protesters who gathered at the law courts in solidarity with the two judges and with a campaign for judicial independence from the executive, opposition leaders said.

Judges Club President Zakaria Abdel Aziz said judge Hesham Bastawisi was in serious condition in hospital after the heart attack at 3 a.m. Rights groups called on the authorities to postpone a disciplinary hearing set for Thursday.

"They gave him seven electric shocks ... Of course he cannot go on trial tomorrow," Abdel Aziz told Reuters.

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.