Egyptian Supreme Judicial Council has forced 32 judges into retirement for having opposed the army’s removal of democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.    

The decision taken on 28 March 2016 was part of the authorities crackdown on all forms of dissent since July 2013, when then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted Morsi.

Last week, the council took similar action against 15 other judges for the same reason.

The International Commission for Jurists (ICJ) urged Egypt to reverse the decision concerning the judges.

“The intensity of Egypt’s attacks against individual judges is reaching a frightening level,” said Said Benarbia, Middle East and North Africa director at ICJ.

He said the move sends a “chilling message to others who might challenge the ongoing crackdown on fundamental rights and freedoms in Egypt”.

Thousands of pro-Morsi supporters had demonstrated at the square for weeks demanding his reinstatement in August 2013. Police and army subsequently stormed the square killing more than 700 people.

Hundreds more were killed in street clashes with police over several months after the August 14 carnage.

Global rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say that at least 40,000 people were arrested within the first year of Morsi’s ouster on 3 July, 2013.

Hundreds more have been sentenced to death or lengthy jail terms after speedy mass trials, including Morsi and several leaders of his outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement.