Egypt’s lawyers on ‘unlimited’ strike after attorneys jailed for brawl

The Egyptian Bar Association announced Thursday an "indefinite" strike to protest the imprisonment of six colleagues for a brawl with clerks earlier this month.
Judge ruling in court
| Photo Credit: Al Arabiya

A criminal court in Egypt sentenced six lawyers to two years in prison following a fight between them and three clerks during a court session in the coastal city on January 5, according to the state-owned daily Al-Ahram. 

Despite conflicting stories regarding how the fight had broken out, the prosecution ordered the lawyers’ detention before their referral to court. 

The court staff were allowed to return to their jobs without facing any consequences, something that the association of lawyers see as unfair.  

The lawyer’s association said in a statement that 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”. 

Therefore, the Egyptian association of lawyers rejected the ruling of this court and announced Thursday an indefinite strike to protest the imprisonment of their colleagues.

“The court ruling is a symptom of the deterioration of the relationship between lawyers and other actors in the Justice system. This was clear in the prosecution’s decision to unnecessarily detain them in the first place,” a lawyer said. 

“We immediately suspend all our activities, we will stop appearing in court and participating in the investigations of the prosecution from January 19 and for an unlimited period,” the lawyers announced on their website.

According to the association, the strike aims to appeal and accept defence requests that were ignored by the criminal court. The requests would certainly have led to an acquittal. 

The lawyers of the six convicts have appealed and the court is expected to consider their request on Sunday.  

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