Egypt forces 32 judges into retirement for opposing coup

* Sisi sacks top auditor for criticizing government corruption

Egypt’s Supreme Judicial Council has forced 32 judges into retirement for having opposed the army’s ousting of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, an official has said.

The decision taken on Monday was part of the authorities’ crackdown on all forms of dissent, including secularists and liberals, since July 2013, when then-army chief, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, ousted Morsi following mass protests against his rule.

“Today, the Supreme Judicial Council took a decision to force 32 judges into retirement for intervening in politics and supporting a certain party,” after the ousting of Morsi, a senior official from the council told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

Last week, the council took similar action against 15 other judges for the same reason.

The International Commission for Jurists (ICJ) urged Egypt to reverse the decision on the judges.

“The intensity of Egypt’s attacks against individual judges is reaching a frightening level,” said Said Benarbia, Middle East and North Africa director at the ICJ.

He said the move sends a “chilling message to others who might challenge the ongoing crackdown on fundamental rights and freedoms in Egypt”.

The council official said that some of the judges had openly declared their opposition to Morsi’s ousting in a signed statement at Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.

* Sisi sacks top auditor for criticizing government corruption

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has dismissed the country’s top auditor, who has criticized the government for alleged massive corruption.

Hesham Geneina, the head of the Central Auditing Organization, was sacked after being criticized by the country’s senior officials as well as pro-government media for his comments about widespread corruption in the government.

Geneina said in an interview with Youm 7 newspaper last December that government corruption had cost the country 600 billion Egyptian pounds (76 billion dollars) over four years.

Sisi later appointed a commission to probe the auditor’s claim, which quickly concluded that Geneina misled the public with support from “foreign” parties.

The president also named Geneina’s deputy, Hesham Badawi, as the new head of the Central Auditing Organization.


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