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Egypt judges protest Morsi decree

Posted on Nov 25, 03:17PM | IANS

Egypt's judges union has called for "the nationwide suspension of work in all courts and prosecution administrations" in protest against President Mohamed Morsi's new constitutional declaration, which gives him sweeping new powers.

The Judges Club issued a statement after an emergency meeting Saturday urging Morsi to revoke his controversial decree and to reinstate the dismissed Hosni Mubarak-era prosecutor general, Abdel Maguid Mahmoud.

Judges and prosecutors in Alexandria, Egypt's second largest city, have already begun the strike saying they have suspended all work "until the declaration is withdrawn".

The new constitutional declaration, issued Thursday, expands Morsi's executive powers and puts him above the judiciary, declaring that the courts are barred from challenging his decisions. It also exempts the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly writing Egypt's new constitution from judicial review.

Egypt's highest judicial authority, the Supreme Judicial Council, earlier called Morsi's move "an unprecedented attack on the independence of the judiciary and its rulings", while prominent opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei has accused Morsi of usurping authority and becoming a "new pharaoh".

The Thursday decree has sparked protest rallies throughout the country.

At least 300 hundred people were injured in clashes between protesters and police across the country Friday.

The demonstrations, organized by various opposition forces, as well as Morsi's supporters, continued through Saturday.

Both the opposition and Morsi's supporters have called for new rallies as early as Tuesday.