Thousands of lawyers across Egypt staged a five-hour sit-in yesterday in front of courthouses to express solidarity with their colleagues Ehab Saee Eddin and Mustafa Fattouh, convicted of assaulting a prosecutor in the Delta town of Tanta earlier this month.
Both lawyers were handed down five-year prison sentences on 9 June, a ruling which sparked a nationwide dispute between Egyptian lawyers, on the one hand, and judges and prosecutors on the other.
After a strong show of support from the Bar Association, Saee Eddin and Fattouh sent a letter to thank the independent union for backing them, according to Khaled Abu Kreisha, a member of the Bar Association.
Abu Kreisha urged Hamdi Khalifa, the head of the union, to hand the case over to another team of lawyers, arguing that "the defence team for the two lawyers was poor".
In an apparent bid to defuse the crisis, Khalifa Saturday ordered the removal of disfigured portraits of senior.
"Such pictures will harm our case," Khalifa was quoted as saying.