CAIRO: Lawyers will hold a full nationwide strike Sunday during the re-trial of Ehab Saey El-Din and Moustafa Fatouh, former syndicate board member Montasser El-Zayat told Daily News Egypt Thursday.
The Lawyers’ Syndicate’s general assembly decided in an advisory meeting Wednesday that lawyers will also hold protests outside all courts and prosecution offices across Egypt, El-Zayat added.
Last month, a crisis broke out between lawyers on the one hand and judges and prosecutors on the other following the imprisonment of lawyers Saey El-Din and Fatouh.
Both lawyers were found guilty of assaulting and offending Basem Abu El-Rous, the local prosecutor in Tanta city, the capital of Gharbeya governorate, and were sentenced to five years in prison, though they claimed that they were attacked by Abu El-Rous and security forces first.
In response to the verdict, thousands of lawyers held strikes and sit-ins for several days nationwide, which further heightened tension.
The syndicate later decided to turn it into a daily five-hour strike in order not to hamper court proceedings.
The outraged lawyers’ stance was supported by Lawyers’ Syndicate Chairman Hamdy Khalifa, the syndicate board and several renowned lawyers.
Even though the verdict was appealed, the court did not release the two defendants on remand, causing more fury among lawyers.
The defense team of the two lawyers will make their pleas during the hearing on July 18, and the court will listen to the testimonies of the rest of the witnesses.
However, El-Zayat is not optimistic about the next hearing.
“There is no sign of optimism … as judges have waged a [fierce] war against us,” he argued.
Meanwhile, El-Zayat called on lawyers to join a march one day after the hearing that will start at the syndicate headquarters in downtown Cairo and head to the Supreme Court, “regardless of the outcome of the session.”
“The march will call for announcing the results of the investigation into the two lawyers’ allegations against Abu El-Rous and the police forces and [to delegate a judge to re-investigate the incident],” El-Zayat concluded.
Meanwhile, lawyers from all over Egypt held a public conference Thursday in Gharbeya’s Mahala city to discuss their next move before the coming hearing Sunday. But no further details on the meeting results were available at press time.