The news from Egypt are not any better! In its session today, Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court postponed the verdict on the Baha'i ID case before it until 2 March 2009. The presiding judge stepped down and excused himself from the case, opening the door for another judge to take over the case and the decision on the appeal.
This counts for the sixth postponement of the decision on the appeal brought by extremist lawyers who were never party to the case . Following the initial hearing of the appeal on 27 September 2008 by this court and the scheduled verdict date of 20 October 2008, this is the sixth postponement (3 November 2008, 15 December 2008, 19 January 2009, 2 February 2009 & 16 February 2009). The Supreme Administrative Court's own State Judiciary Council had considered the appeal and had rejected it. The court was expected to abide by the decision of the Council.
The lower court's decision of 29 January 2008 was in favor of the Baha'is, allowing them to obtain ID cards and birth certificates with dashes [--] instead of their stated religion.
Considering the history of this case, and with the--now--introduction of a new judge, one cannot expect much progress. It would not be surprising to see more delays and indecision. The Ministry of Interior has not budged on its stand of not issuing identity documents for the Baha'is until a final court decision is reached. It is important to note, however, that the Ministry of Interior, who is the primary defendant in this case, has never appealed the 29 January decision favoring the Baha'is.