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Egypt’s top court gets first-ever Christian chief judge

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, swears in Judge Boulos Fahmy, as the first-ever Coptic Christian to head the country’s highest court, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (Egyptian Presidency Media Office via AP)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, right, swears in Judge Boulos Fahmy, as the first-ever Coptic Christian to head the country’s highest court, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (Egyptian Presidency Media Office via AP)

Egypt’s president swears in the first-ever Coptic Christian to head the country’s highest court.

Judge Boulos Fahmy is the 19th person to preside over the Supreme Constitutional Court since it was established in 1969. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi picked the 65-year-old Fahmy from among the court’s five oldest of 15 sitting judges, as is prescribed by law.

Fahmy succeeds Judge Saeed Marei, who retired over health reasons, according to Mohammed Bassal, a respected expert in Egypt’s judicial affairs and editorial manager of the Shorouk daily.

Fahmy has headed the court’s General Secretariat since 2014. His appointment as chief judge has been welcomed by many in the Muslim majority country.

Moushira Khattab, head of the government-appointed National Council for Human Rights, hails the decision as “historic” and “a giant move” in the field of political and civil rights.

Christians, who make up almost 10% of Egypt’s population of more than 102 million, have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the Muslim majority. Activists also say Copts are discriminated against and kept from high office.

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