Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Upcoming Court Dates to Watch in Egypt

The Baha'is of Egypt are eagerly awaiting two court dates that might greatly influence their struggle to obtain identity documents.

The first one will be on 15 December 2008 at Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court when a decision is expected regarding the appeal of a non-party (by an Islamist lawyer) to the 29 January 2008 ruling that allowed the Baha'is to obtain identification documents and birth certificates by inserting dashes "--" in place of religion in these documents. It is expected that the court will endorse the recommendation of its own State Judiciary Council to reject the appeal since the appellant, as stated by the council of judges, has no right to interfere with this lawsuit, and since the defendant (the Ministry of Interior) had not appealed the ruling and had accepted it on its face.

The second date is scheduled for 17 January 2009, on which Cairo's Seventh Circuit Administrative Court will rule on a challenge (a stalling tactic--not an appeal) to the same ruling of 29 January 2008 of the First Circuit Administrative Court, in which another Islamist lawyer challenged the competence of the judge. Consequently, the judge had referred the case out of his court to the Seventh Circuit Court for an unbiased determination.

Meanwhile, as of today, the Baha'is of Egypt remain "without identity."

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