Egypt’s new justice minister called for hardline Sharia

Newly-appointed Egyptian justice minister Ahmed el-Zend (left) during his oath taking ceremony at the El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo Photo: Reuters

Egypt has appointed a new justice minister who previously advocated fast-tracking sons of judges into the judiciary, described his fellow citizens as “slaves”, and called for the introduction of Saudi-style punishments such as lashings and amputations.

Ahmed el-Zend is currently head of the Judges’ Club, the judiciary’s unofficial but powerful trade union, and became a favourite of the military-backed regime because of his voluble opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood. The current President Abdel-fattah el-Sisi overthrew the Brotherhood two years ago.

Mr Zend was appointed justice minister only after his predecessor, Mahfouz Saber, was forced to resign for saying that the children of garbage collectors could not make good judges because they did not come ”from a respectable medium, both financially and morally”…