A group of 15 people assaulted and beat Judges Club head Ahmed al-Zend as he left the club’s headquarters in downtown Cairo Sunday night. He was brought back into the headquarters with minor injuries.
Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that the assailants were waiting for Zend to leave the building. The paper said the club’s security managed to arrest three of the attackers.
Zend, a prominent judge, has been leading the judicial movement against President Mohamed Morsy, who the movement believes has attempted to curb judicial independence.
Morsy’s supporters, however, accuse Zend of being a loyalist of the former Mubarak regime.
Earlier on Sunday, Zend led some 3,000 judges and prosecutors in a protest at the steps of the Cairo High Court to demand the dismissal of Morsy-appointed Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah.
Demonstrators at the protest told state-run MENA news agency they were against Abdallah’s previous decision to withdraw his resignation, which he had tendered voluntarily after prosecutors deemed his appointment a violation of the law immunizing the prosecutor general from being removed from office. Abdallah had been appointed after Morsy attempted to remove former Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud from office, a move that prompted protests by judicial independence advocates.
All entrances to the court were closed to prevent Abdallah’s supporters, who had staged a vigil earlier in the day, from clashing with the anti-Abdallah protesters, who raised their ID cards to prove there were no lawyers or police officers among them.
Pro-Abdallah protesters from the Muslim Brotherhood had previously tried to storm the High Court, but were stopped by security. They then stood outside and swore at anti-Abdallah protesters. Those protesters then went to the Judges Club to attend an emergency meeting.