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Negotiations between Justice Ministry and protesting specialists fail.

CAIRO: An attempt by a National Democratic Party MP to resolve the conflict between the Ministry of Justice and protesting legal specialists fell through after the ministry failed to send representatives to a meeting initiated by the MP.

The ministry's legal specialists continue their sit-in for the 10th consecutive day in front of the ministry, demanding legal protection and better work conditions.

They had previously called for an amendment to Law 96/1952 as well as the cancellation of a decision that allows them to examine cases only inside the courtroom.

Around 200 legal specialists resigned this week.

Omar Hareidy, member of the NDP's policies' committee, intervened by visiting the ministry and calling for a meeting between the protestors and ministry officials.

"After visiting the ministry, Hareidy told us to send a delegation to meet with officials from the ministry; so we sent a delegation but no one was there except Hareidy and Mohamed El-Taher, head of the specialists' club," Walid Badawy, spokesperson for the protestors, told Daily News Egypt.

"We were told to end the strike and the ministry will implement its decisions, but we don't know anything about the nature of these decisions," he said.

Badawy said that the protesters' health is deteriorating as they camp outside the ministry.

"We have no other solutions except going on a hunger strike," Badawy said.

The Ministry of Justice was not available for comment by press time.

Meanwhile, the Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession condemned the passive response to the legal specialists' "crisis," saying this will "negatively affect citizens' rights and the justice system in Egypt."

"Legal specialists operate in extremely difficult financial and legislative conditions to the extent that they are subject to a jail sentence or fine while doing their jobs," a statement issued by the center said.

The statement denounced the decision that allows legal specialists to examine cases only inside the courtroom.

The statement also called for an amendment to Law 96/1952 to provide specialists' with legal and administrative protection during their work as well as securing better pay and work conditions.

Legal specialists have organized a series of protests in front of the ministry and the cabinet during the past month.

Daily NewsEgypt 2009

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Date:Jul 15, 2009
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