El-Bastawisy leaves hospital and thanks his supporters

Daily Star Egypt Staff
2 Min Read

CAIRO: An Egyptian judge reprimanded for blowing the whistle on alleged electoral fraud left the hospital Tuesday morning after heart surgery, his wife said.

Hesham El-Bastawisy suffered a heart attack last Wednesday and underwent two operations to unclog his coronary arteries, Ulfat Al-Sahli told The Associated Press by telephone from her home in Cairo.

El-Bastawisy, who sits on Egypt s highest court, faced disciplinary action after he went public with accusations of fraud in last year s parliamentary elections, which were monitored by judges.

He was hospitalized the day before his disciplinary hearing, the latest step by Egypt s judiciary to punish El-Bastawisy and fellow judge Mahmoud Mekki for comments they made on television about the elections.

Al-Sahli said her husband was hurt when he saw the people who came to support him being beaten by the security forces.

The controversy over the judges comments and their treatment by the government prompted hundreds of Egyptians to take to the streets in recent weeks. Many were beaten by plainclothes police and more than 600 have been arrested. El-Bastawisy received a reprimand, while Mekki was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Al-Sahli said that she feels sorry for her husband, who turned 55 Tuesday, but said public support gave him strength to go on.

He is tired, but his morals are so high from all this love and respect from people, she said, adding that El-Bastawisy will keep on battling until he proves he was right.

He has appealed the reprimand, and Mekki said Tuesday that another hearing would be held later this month.

I am extremely optimistic about El-Bastawisy s case, Mekki told The Associated Press.

He also called again for an investigation into allegations of electoral fraud. Mekki and El-Bastawisy have said disciplinary proceedings against them were ordered because of their vocal protests against what they saw as a deeply flawed and dishonest election last year.

They also accused some pro-government judges of allowing or participating in vote-rigging. AP

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