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Senior Muslim brotherhood leader Essam el-Erian and their spiritual leader Mohammed Badie appear in a courtroom cage in Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 30, 2014 (AP photo by Mohammed Abu Zeid).

In Polarized Egypt, Quiet Support for Muslim Brotherhood Persists

Friday, Oct. 3, 2014

Yesterday, the Egyptian judge who sentenced more than 1,200 alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death earlier this year was unexpectedly removed from his bench. Judge Said Youssef was transferred from the criminal judiciary to the civilian judiciary, according to reports. His court, which investigated and tried terrorism cases—mostly against the Brotherhood—has been “dismantled,” he told The Associated Press.

Could the judge’s demotion have wider significance in the yearlong crackdown against the Brotherhood under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi? Given the scale of repression, any sign of an easing, like dismissing the internationally criticized judge responsible for so many convictions, bears watching. ...

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