(CAIRO) — The Egyptian Supreme Court suspended its work Sunday after thousands of supporters of President Mohammed Morsi surrounded the court and prevented the justices and staff from entering and ruling on the leader’s recent declarations of near absolute power.
The Supreme Constitutional Court issued a statement saying the climate of the country is now filled with hatred and the judges feared for their safety.
Last week, Morsi announced a sweeping presidential decree that bars the country’s courts from challenging any of his decisions. The Supreme Court justices were expected to defy Morsi’s decree and rule against an assembly charged by Morsi with writing the country’s new charter.
Morsi insists his decree is just temporary, but opponents believe Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood will succeed in writing a constitution that will adhere more to Islamist Sharia law than the democracy that activists sought during the 2011 Arab Spring, when they deposed former President Hosni Mubarak.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tiffany Ap and Brian Todd, CNN Newswire
Ashley Fantz, AnneClaire Stapleton and Ed Payne, CNN Newswire