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Egypt panel reprimands one judge, clears another in disciplinary hearing

[JURIST] A disciplinary panel for two Egyptian judges who complained of alleged fraud in last year’s parliamentary elections [JURIST report] Thursday reprimanded pro-reform judge Hisham Bastawisi but cleared Mahmoud Mekki of whistleblowing allegations. The rulings came amid clashes [JURIST report] between riot police and supporters of the judges which began last week; protesters have also been rallying in Cairo to protest the recent extension of emergency laws [JURIST report] that have been in effect since the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat [CNN profile]. Egyptian police sealed off the city center and arrested over 200 members of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder] and other protesters who came to support the two judges, including Islamist movement spokesman Issam al-Aryan and former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary group Mohammed Mursi.

Bastawisi, who suffered a heart attack Wednesday, was not present at the hearing even though rights groups had called for a postponement due to his health. Bastawisi and Mekki are two of ten judges stripped of judicial immunity [JURIST report] and charged with slander after criticizing last year’s parliamentary elections. Several judges have called for more judicial independence [JURIST report] from the government led by President Hosni Mubarak [official profile]. Aljazeera has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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