- Middle East/North Africa
Supporters of President Mohamed Morsy attempted to assault Supreme Constitutional Court head Maher al-Beheiry while his car was entering the court's premises in Maadi, Cairo, on Wednesday, Beheiry told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Security intervened to keep the protesters from attacking Beheiry as his car drove onto the court property, amid angry chants criticizing him and the court.
Relations between Morsy’s office and the judiciary have been strained since the dissolution of Parliament in June. Islamist supporters of the president besieged the SCC earlier this month, fearing that it would rule to dissolve the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the constitution, which is also dominated by Islamists. Judges have also been boycotting the ongoing referendum on the constitution in protest against the document and the executive branch's perceived interference in judicial affairs.
Beheiry told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he was on his way to work Wednesday morning when he learned that pro-Morsy protesters had returned to the court, prompting him to go to the court's club instead. While he was there, some of the protesters came to the club, so he left to go to the court to prevent potential clashes.
"I went to the court, but at the gates, some of the pro-Morsy protesters stood in the way and attempted to stop the car and assault me, but security forced them away from the car and opened the way and I managed to get in," he said.
Beheiry wondered what would have happened to him if the protesters had managed to stop the car.
"Indeed, there are a large number of security forces securing the court, but they're not doing their job well," said Beheiry, adding that the judges are humiliated every day as they enter the court.
Security forces are reportedly trying to convice protesters to move their demonstration away from the court.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm