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Africa North
Lawyers scuffle in Alexandria over Morsi's declaration
[Al Ahram] Scuffles broke out between lawyers at the Alexandria court complex on Sunday as the fallout from President Morsi's Constitutional Declaration continues to reverberate across Egypt.

Lawyers affiliated with the Moslem Brüderbund fought with lawyers critical of President Morsi's controversial declaration, which they say jeopardises judicial independence.

Moslem Brüderbund lawyers and others who support the declaration called for a vote of no confidence in the leader of the lawyers' syndicate, Sameh Ashour, as well as the leader of its Alexandria branch, Abdel-Halim Allam, who they accuse of embracing calls for suspending work in courts in protest at the declaration.

Islamist lawyers further condemned the decision of the lawyers' syndicate to back judges who have condemned the declaration.

"Suspending work in courts will negatively affect both citizens and lawyers. It's a crime for a judge to refuse to work," said Abdel-Aziz El-Dreiny of the lawyers' syndicate.

Following the president's decree, a number of courts and judges called for partial strikes to condemn what they said was a threat to judicial independence.

In Alexandria, courts stopped working on Saturday. The prosecution has continued working as normal. Judges' Club leader in Alexandria, Ezzat Agwa, said courts in the city were expected to continue their strike until the president rescinds the declaration.

Judges in Assiut, Upper Egypt, have continued their partial strike. They took action in response to calls for a strike by the Judges' Club on Saturday.

General Adel Refaat, security director in Suez, has said courts in the governorate will continue to work as normal until a clear position is announced by the Judges' Club.

In Sharqiya, all courts have continued working, but the prosecution has begun a partial strike.

Courts and prosecution offices in the Delta governorate of Qalioubiya went on strike Saturday.
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