Monday, June 09, 2008

Egypt: Ministry of Interior Tries to Explain Delays

Cairo's Al-Badeel Newspaper (7 June 2008 edition)

Egypt's National Council for Human Rights held a round-table discussion on 6 June 2008 to examine various pressing human rights violations in Egypt. Among which was the case of the Baha'is and the lack of progress in issuing identity documents. Several prominent activists and government representatives participated in this session.

One of the participants, General Ali Abdel-Mawla, first assistant to the Minister of Interior, stated that "the Ministry wants to implement the ruling of the administrative court [granting the Baha'is the right to obtain ID cards], but the challenge filed by the Islamists prevents [the Ministry] from doing so." He further affirmed that "in case these challenges were turned down [by the court], the Ministry will expeditiously implement the administrative court ruling."
N.B. These statements were made a day before the most recent court hearing that addressed the procedural challenge by the Islamists. The Ministry of Interior's lawyers asked for a postponement in order to prepare their memorandum supporting the Baha'is. The court postponed the case until 1 November 2008.

So, it is clear, according to these statements, that the Ministry of Interior has no hesitation in applying the court ruling in favor of the Baha'is. It should be also understood that the fact a challenge was filed by a third party--who was not even a party to the lawsuit--should not prevent the Ministry from implementing the ruling. A further delay (until 1 November 2008) can only lead to further extreme hardships for the Baha'is of Egypt.

Another important point is that this challenge was not an "appeal" of the ruling itself, but rather a challenge to the judge's competency--a strategy that has been frequently used by this particular Islamist extremist lawyer (Hamed Saddiq) to obstruct many other--irrelevant--cases.

My questions to General Ali Abdel-Mawla are: if the court upholds the Islamists' challenge on the first of November, what would the Ministry do then? Would it ask for another postponement? Would it sue the Islamist challenger? Would it not implement the ruling? Would it implement the ruling?

The real issue here is: what are the true motives of the Ministry of Interior? Supposing that the motives are sincere and intended to solve this crisis, then the Ministry should do so without any further delays.

Allowing such illegitimate procedural challenges--whose malicious intentions are very clear--to interfere with the due process of the law can only lead to anarchy. The Ministry knows what is needed to be done; using these frivolous challenges as an excuse to explain such unrealistic delays cannot be justified.


  1. One might add to the list of concerns & questions:

    Why this extremist lawyer & associates were not held in contempt for their conduct towards the judge during the “challenge” hearing and similar disruptive behaviour at the previous court trials?

    To what purpose and of what legal relevance & consequence is a “memorandum” - by the Ministry of the Interior - to be presented at a hearing (again postponed to 01 November 2008) meant to address a “procedural challenge” and not the ruling itself?

    Is this lawyer and participants, who are not party to the lawsuit, obstructing (the implementation of) justice?

    What interim provisions are to be provided to individuals of the Baha’i community until ID cards are issued?
    a. National Security checkpoints: official document or communiqué to security officers to allow Baha’is through without harassment
    b. Drivers License: temporary License or allowance for extended renewal until ID documents are issued
    c. Birth Certificates/ID Cards: letters of instruction or other official government communiqué to institutions such as schools & universities, military exemption offices, banks, immigration departments, and others whereby providing direction for special allowances & exceptions until formal Birth Certificates and ID cards are issued.

    What provisions exist in Egyptian law, and what obligations is Egypt bound to, that address conspiracy, specifically?
    a. Conspiracy as defined in International Law
    b. Conspiracy against rights (United Nations statute)
    c. Conspiracy to corrupt public morals or to outrage public decency (European Civil Law, United States Civil Law): addresses the false & unsubstantiated (criminal) accusations towards Baha’is for disruption of public order, immoral conduct, heresy, espionage, and a host of others, particularly preceding and throughout the duration of the court trials.

  2. well gee... ain't that sweet this reminds me of the excuses some children use to explain any delay of an assigned school task....or the reasons for a messy room...

    [1] the dog ate my homework
    [2] the neighbors pit bull growled at me..
    [3]the monster hiding in my closet kept me awake last night
    [4]my sister kept bugging me
    [5] I got a tummy ache
    [6]well... my favorite TV show is on and I gotta watch it
    [7] I want to go outside and play
    [8]I lost my teddy bear...
    [9]I got a headache

  3. Abdu’l-Baha mentioned about the power of the Covenant that

    “Know this for a certainty that today, the penetrative power in the arteries of the world of humanity is the power of the Covenant. The body of the world will not be moved through any power except through the power of the Covenant"

    We have the power to change the whole world. Can you imagine?


  4. Wael,
    Would you please explain the relationship of the quote on the covenant to this post? Thanks....

  5. Bilo,
    At this difficult time of history I am encouraging the Egyptian Bahá’ís with this quotation of Abdul-Baha about the Power of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh. Victory is assured.


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