The Egyptian Court of Cassation on Tuesday ordered President Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to reinstate Abdel Meguid Mahmoud to his post as prosecutor-general (PG). Morsi appointed Talaat Abdallah as PG in November, pursuant to a controversial constitutional declaration which dismissed and replaced the Mubarak-era PG Mahmoud and immunized Morsi's own decisions from judicial appeal. The Cairo Court of Appeals overturned [JURIST report] Mahmoud's dismissal in March based on a constitutional provision which established that the PG post comes with a four-year term and is not subject to presidential dismissal. Abdallah, however, has not left office despite requests from Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council that he resign [JURIST report] and return to his former position as a judge. Abdallah has been criticized by the liberal opposition for targeting critics of Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood [party website], and independent media, including the popular television satirist Bassem Youssef who was recently arrested for allegedly insulting Islam and Morsi. Mahmoud pledged [Daily News Egypt Report] to protect the rights of the people after the ruling.
Egypt has been the seat of political unrest since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] began over two years ago. In a controversial move in March, Abdallah issued [JURIST report] arrest warrants for five activists for their alleged involvement in an opposition campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi. To quell the growing violence and unrest that resulted in the deaths of at least 50 Egyptians, Morsi declared [JURIST report] a state of emergency in January, giving military the authority to arrest and detain instigators. During the same month, rights group Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights reported that police abuse and torture has not improved [JURIST report] since the end of the Mubarak regime.