Egypt appoints another classist Justice Minister

New Egyptian Justice Minister Ahmed el-Zind replaces former minister was fired after making classist comments

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

After Egypt’s former Justice Minister Mahfouz Saber caused a public debate when he said that "sons of janitors cannot be judges," the Egyptian government replaced him on Wednesday with judge and counselor Ahmed el-Zind who is similarly known for his borderline classist comments.

The newly appointed Egyptian Justice Minister’s father is not a janitor, nor is he a judge either, his father is in fact a barbershop owner, according to the el-Watan newspaper.

El-Zind is a sworn critic of Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi, and best known for defending “inherited leadership,” meaning sons of judges in turn becoming judges. He described this as a "sacred duty."

Egypt's prominent activists said the appointment was part of a trend towards empowering opponents of the 2011 uprising that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak.

"There is a particular approach which describes the January 25 revolution as a conspiracy and a setback, and Zind belongs to this camp," Shady el-Ghazaly Harb told Reuters.

Activists describe his appointment as one of the greatest throwbacks to the Mubarak era. He once defended judges from criticism in separate comments to a television show, saying: "We are masters in our homeland. Everyone else are slaves."

Khaled Dawoud, spokesman for the opposition Dostour Party, called Zind's appointment "a disaster" that would raise doubts about the application of justice in Egypt, a strategic ally of the Western powers.

In a speech from last year posted on YouTube, Zind denounced the 2011 uprising, saying it allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to seize power.

Cairo has condemned criticism of its judiciary and judges and called it and infringement on its sovereignty.

In the absence of a parliament, Sisi has wielded sole legislative authority since taking office last summer. The president has promised long-delayed elections would be held before the end of the year.

Sisi has launched a crackdown on Morsi's Islamist supporters, with hundreds killed and thousands more imprisoned.

Hundreds of soldiers and policemen have also been killed since mid-2013 by an Islamist insurgency based in the North Sinai.

TRTWorld and agencies