EOHR issues a qualitative report entitled ” From Al Khanka to Naga Hammadi…Events of sectarian tension and the need to activate the rights of citizenship

January 20th, 2010 by Editor

The Egyptian Organization For Human Rights issued its qualitative report entitled” From Al Khanka to Naga Hammadi…Events of sectarian tension and the need to activate the rights of citizenship” on Wednesday 20/1/2010.symptoms of zoloft working Purepac Prednisone lipitor drug cost
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The report depends on  the results of fact-finding mission sent by EOHR to follow the events of Naga  Hammadi, the report started by giving a background of the events of sectarian tension  in Egypt since 1970s till now, the reasons of sectarian tension in Egypt , the ways to overcome this phenomenon  and confront it  in order not to be recurred  in the future.

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada , secretary general of EOHR confirmed his deepest worries on the events of Naga Hammadi which considered as an indicator for a qualitative shift in the events of sectarian tension as a specific category was targeted during the exit from the mass and performing the duty of praying the matter which confirms the worsening of religious intolerance among ordinary citizens, which means that the fanatic parties succeeded in transferring their ideas to some of citizens.  
Abu Seada clarified that what happened in Naga Hammadi is described as  “The murder of identity,” this crime resulted in   7 deaths  and 9 injured, including 15 Christians , this means that the murder  was carried out on the basis of   identity , besides the absence of law sovereignty and citizenship principles .

Abu Seada  called the Egyptian government for taking  the report prepared by Dr. Gamal Al Ateify   which was issued by the fact finding mission formed by People’s Assembly to investigate the events of Al Khanka (1972) pointing out that the report ended with such results similar to what we are facing now.

The fact finding mission of EOHR confirmed that “Farshout event” contributed to stir up the situation in Upper Egypt and the revelation came clear in the events of Naga Hammadi as a psychological mobilization  occurred between  the two sides (Muslim and Christian) , besides the intervention of some sides which led to the escalation of the event , however the quick security movement should be commended in dealing with the situation , perpetrators delivered themselves as a result to the strong security grip and the movement of the Attorney-General immediately to the  scene. The public prosecution accused suspects of  several charges which reached  to death sentence.

The fact finding mission of EOHR clarified that there are many reasons behind the events of sectarian tension  in the Egyptian society,   these reasons can be stated as follows:
1. Poor performance of government agencies at all levels in dealing with such crises,

sometimes by not declaring any news on the events, or claiming that the conditions will be calmed  down automatically, or  leaving events without trying to  intervene .
2. The failure of religious institutions:  the failure of both Al-Azhar and the Church to engage in any action that may search for causes that led to this form of crisis, however satisfying with giving   painkillers without seeking to find a radical solutions .

3. The absence of law sovereignty and citizenship principles : the absence of democratic atmosphere   _ as the citizens can express their problems and to exercise their normal rights  _ which is considered as one of the main reasons that leads to stir up tension .
4. Religious intolerance between the two parties: the psychological mobilization between Muslims and Christians leads to criminal crimes and thus turn to sectarian tensions, sometimes we find a book issued from an unknown source  against Muslims followed by another book issued to replay against it , as well as  we find chat rooms between Muslims and Christians, and at the end we are in front of a hate crime against the Egyptian society.
5. The absence of security: delayed arrest of the culprits in some sectarian incidents leads to worse conditions between the two parties.
6. Ignoring  the recommendations of the organizations of civil society: in many events of sectarian tension, civil society organizations issued a number of recommendations and proposals which are  being  ignored and neglected , however these recommendations should be taken into consideration.
The researchers of EOHR at the end of the report confirmed that, in order to avoid the recurrence of such events again,   political will must be provided as all state institutions have to interact with , particularly the Ministry of Endowment  and Al-Azhar and the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Information and the Interior Ministry with the Church, civil society organizations and political parties to work to prepare periodic plans and long-term strategic plans to save the country from the consequences of such events, these plans  should contain the following elements:
1. Enacting  a law on the rights of citizenship as a starting point , in order to translate the principle of citizenship provided   in the first article of  the Egyptian constitution to legislations and laws, to be followed by the establishment of a citizenship committee in the parliament including  official representatives in   media, education and endowments, security, and representatives of Al-Azhar and the Church and  political parties and civil society organizations. This committee shall undertake the citizenship affairs and to be responsible for finding solutions for sectarian tension and any other problems appear between Muslims and Christians.

In this regard,   the recommendations of the conference held by the National Council for Human Rights ” citizenship  …… justice and equality ” in 2007, can be adopted  , this conference  ended with the declaration of the rights of citizenship, the  most prominent recommendations were as follows:

  • Calling for the existence of a special rapporteur for equality and anti-discrimination as a mechanism for complaints.

• The need for issuing a law against discrimination includes a legal definition of discrimination and a deterrent punishment, whether it was done on the basis of color, sex, religion or race.
• The importance of considering the abolition of the religion item in the IDs  as an affirmation of non-discrimination and the need to confront the phenomenon of nepotism in the job opportunities as it violated  the equality principle  between citizens and the abuse of power and violation of human rights.

 At the same time we call for the implementation of paragraph 9 of the Declaration of the rights of citizenship, which includes a proposal to the Ministry of Legal Affairs and parliaments to take over the task of coordinating public parliamentary dialogue on the declaration of the rights of citizens in order to develop and achieve an executive  program for it.
2. Calling upon People’s Assembly to issue a unified  law for worships houses during the current session  with the necessary to set a  unified rules to build the worships houses depending on a set of standards including for example population density and geographical distribution. Also it is necessary to abolish the ten administrative unfair conditions  to build churches which have been imposed since 1933, and to abolish the presidential decision No. 13-1998 issued in 11/1/1998 on  deputing  governors the power to restore churches as it violated article 46 of the constitution.

3. Clerics should  renew   religious speech aiming at spreading  the culture of tolerance among all citizens and to avoid the fanatic speech,  and the need to respect each other’s religion, and holding a  discussion  sessions   between the two sides to determine the sectarian differences that appear from time to time for evaluating and recognizing mistakes.   

4. The prohibition of  attacking  religions, in accordance with  the provisions of human rights to preserve the freedom of thought and belief stated in the Egyptian Constitution and international covenants on human rights ratified by the Egyptian government and has become part and parcel  of domestic law in accordance with Article 151 of the Constitution.
5. Amending Curriculums , especially the religious curriculums for informing  students the idea  to accept the other and learn their culture and to get rid of religious extremism and spreading the culture of tolerance.
6. Allocating   programs by  the Egyptian media (radio, television and satellite channels)on the culture of human rights, especially the culture of accepting others , the importance of preparing a media code of conduct based on principles of human rights, in the light of the number of negative developments  and the  essence of the confusion between freedom of expression and incitement for aversion.
7. Appealing  to Egyptian civil society organizations to include the case of citizenship on its work programs in order to expand the circle of national participation via opinion, experiences and proposals.

8. Forming  guidance rules for the police,  media personnel , governors and members of the parliament  in the form of  transparent  principles  to deal with sectarian incidents as follows :

A. Stop using the term of Muslim and Christian  in media coverage of any sectarian  events.
B. Applying the  procedures of justice without any discrimination before embarking on any sectarian  reconciliation by governors or security officers or members of the municipal councils.
C. The need to consider the inclusion of the crime of “incitement to hatred” more tightly in the Egyptian legal system, without degrading  the freedom of expression as stated by the international covenants.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 at 11:56 am and is filed under Statements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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