Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi hold a banner with his picture as they gather at the Rabaa Adawiya square, where they were camping, in Cairo, July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
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As Egypt cracks down on its Islamist dissidents, many of the country's lawyers are finding themselves on the wrong side of the law as well. Attorney Mohsen al-Bahnasy says so many fellow lawyers have been arrested or charged in recent months that he now spends much of his time defending them in court. One of the lawyers he represents is accused of distributing leaflets supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group banned by the government of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. According to Bahnasy, his client, a lawyer, was in a police station with his own clients at the time of the alleged crime. In all, more than 200 lawyers are behind bars in Egypt for defending the government's Islamist opponents, according to attorneys and human rights groups.At the August hearing, Abu Aysh said he had been held for months without being formally charged.It's not just lawyers who say attorneys are being targeted.Bahnasy, the lawyer who now spends his days defending fellow lawyers in court, also fears for his safety.
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