This second lawsuit (no. 12780/61) was filed by the the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) last February on behalf of Hosni Hussein Abdel-Massih, born in 1989, who was suspended from the Suez Canal University's Higher Institute of Social Work due to his inability to obtain an identity card because he is a Baha'i. It is quite common now for Baha'i students in post-secondary education in Egypt to face suspension or expulsion because of their failure to obtain ID cards or military service postponement papers.
Hosni Hussein had already passed his final examinations after completing his first year at the university but was not promoted to the second year, as he is entitled to, and was suspended from the university. In order for Egyptian students to complete their university education without interruption, they are required to produce a military draft postponement document that would permit them to complete their education. One cannot obtain a military draft number without being issued a national ID number and a national ID card. Since this Baha'i student, and many others, are being denied a national ID number because of their religion, they are unable to obtain a military draft number, thus cannot continue their university matriculation. The only option they have left is to lie about their religion and enter one of Egypt's recognized three (Islam, Christianity or Judaism) in order to obtain an ID card. The ID application form clearly states that any false statements will be punishable by imprisonment and heavy fines.
Interestingly this case has been coupled with the twins case in the same court through one postponement after the other. Meanwhile this student (Hosni) awaits his fate sitting at home with his education on hold.
One can read the full story of this case as well as the twins' case in a press release, dated 5 September 2007, by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) in English at this link and in Arabic at this link.
The press release concludes with this statement:
"The Egyptian government has a legal obligation to protect citizens from religious discrimination and coercion under the Constitution as well as international and regional treaties it ratified, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. The government is also obliged to protect the right to education without distinction on any basis, including religion or belief, under the African Charter, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child."