Signs Of Freedom


EGYPT: A protester at a rally in support of judges last week. The protest turned violent when riot police cracked down

Hisham Bastawisi is no revolutionary. An Egyptian appeals-court judge, his conservative leanings are evident in his dark suits, round spectacles and polished shoes. During most of his years on the Court of Cassation, he avoided rocking the boat. Yet by leveling charges of fraud in parliamentary elections late last year, Bastawisi has suddenly shot to local fame as an outspoken critic of President Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian rule. Along with Mahmoud Mekki and other senior judicial colleagues, Bastawisi is leading a so-called Revolt of the Judges, which Mubarak's regime fears may galvanize other groups demanding reform.

After alleging election...

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