Egyptian judge involved in mass sentences of Muslim Brotherhood removed from post News
Egyptian judge involved in mass sentences of Muslim Brotherhood removed from post

[JURIST] Egyptian judge Said Youssef [Al-akhbar report] was removed from his position on the Minya Criminal Court of Egypt [Middle East Monitor news archive] on Tuesday to a seat on the civilian judicial court in Egypt. The Minya court, known as one of the nation’s terrorism courts, was the forum for two mass sentences [JURIST report] of hundreds of Islamic supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood [JURIST news archive] earlier this year. The Minya court is the most high profile of the terrorism courts in Egypt and it is the only court of its kind which will be dismantled [AP report]. Youssef will be transferred to a civilian court in Egypt. According to Egyptian news sources, a removal of this kind is regarded as a demotion and only occurs in a limited number of circumstances: either the judge has been tied to an act which has damaged their reputation or a special committee determination has found the judge is no longer capable of hearing criminal court cases. The ousting of Youssef may signal a change in the policy of the Egyptian judiciary, which has been criticized for a lack of judicial due process and sentencing of civilians based on their political affiliation.

In the past year the Egyptian judiciary has cracked down on supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi [BBC report] and the Muslim Brotherhood, having jailed approximately 15,000 individuals since his ouster [JURIST report] in July 2013. In March the most notable sentencing occurred when 529 alleged Morsi supporters were collectively sentenced [JURIST report] to death in one controversial judicial proceeding. Then in April an Egyptian judge sentenced 683 alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death, including the group’s supreme guide, Mohamed Badie [Washington Institute backgrounder]. In June Judge Youssef confirmed the death sentence of 183 of the 683 originally sentenced in April while simultaneously acquitting over 400 [JURIST report] in the death of police officers over a year ago. Badie’s sentence was reduced to life in prison [JURIST report] in a recent decision.