Egypt: The Evolution of The Revolution
Egypt’s judges have called for a nationwide strike in protest against a decree by President Mohammed Mursi granting himself extensive new powers.
After an emergency meeting, the judges union urged Mr Mursi to retract the decree they see as an “unprecedented attack” on the judiciary. Mr Mursi says he wants to protect the revolution.
According to his decree, no authority can revoke presidential decisions.
It includes a bar on dissolving the assembly drawing up a new constitution.
Work on the constitution has been plagued by legal complaints questioning the make-up of the assembly.
Police fired tear gas to disperse crowds outside the court where the judges met, while pro-Mursi demonstrators tried to disrupt the judges’ meeting.
Opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei said there could be no dialogue with Mr Mursi as long as the decree was in force.
Speaking to reporters, he said he was waiting to see strong condemnation of the move by the international community.
Thursday’s decree sparked angry demonstrations, and attacks on offices of Mr Mursi’s Islamist FJP party.
The Judges Club – the union which represents judges throughout the country – called for “the suspension of work in all courts and prosecution administrations” after emergency talks.
It said that Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, prosecutor general since the Mubarak era who was sacked as part of the decree, should be reinstated.
In a statement earlier, the Supreme Judicial Council – Egypt’s highest judicial authority – called Mr Mursi’s move “an unprecedented attack on the independence of the judiciary and its rulings”.
Judges and prosecutors in Egypt’s second city Alexandria have already begun a strike, saying they will not return to work until the decree is reversed.
However, another group known as Judges for the Sake of Egypt has backed the decree, according to state TV.
The response of the judges has been tough, if fairly predictable, says the BBC’s Jon Leyne in Cairo.
One judge told the BBC their concerns were for Egypt, not their jobs.
“We can’t work like this, we have to change it and we will change it,” Ahmed Shannan said.
"Officers" of the Egyptian army are backing the anti-Morsi protests...
According to the report, the "Officers of the Egyptian Army" organization distributed leaflets during Friday's demonstrations saying the protests were "legitimate. However, the army has yet to respond officially to Morsi's decree, which exempts all his decisions from legal challenge until a new parliament was elected.