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The first Ever Lawsuit Filed by an Egyptian Advocacy

ICC Note

Egyptian Union of Human Rights asked for end of discrimination against Christians in Egypt .

03/12/2009 Egypt (Voice of the Copts) – The first Ever Lawsuit Against the Interior Minister Accusing him of Applying Double Standards to Christian ‘Reverts’

Dr. Naguib Gibraeel, lawyer and President of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights filed yesterday, a lawsuit against the Minster of Interior, to force him to accept decrees issued by the Coptic Patriarchate as an acceptable authoritative document for the reconversion of born Christians who want to revert back to Christianity, after previously converting to Islam. The lawsuit also included the chief of the Civil Registry Bureau.

He added that the Ministry of Interior, with its Civil Registry Bureau discriminates between the Christian who wishes to revert back to their original faith of Christianity and the one who converts into Islam.

Dr.Gibraeel called upon President Mubarak to direct the Minster of Interior to activate the principle of equal citizenship among all Egyptians, before the April 4th verdict of the Supreme Constitutional Court on the issue of Christian ‘Reverts’.

The appeal is asking them to apply the Civil Law Article 2/47 143/1994, which states that the Christian can return back to his faith after converting to Islam by producing a certificate confirming that he reconverted back to Christianity from a ‘ body of jurisdiction’, which is the Patriarchate.

In his appeal Gibraeel added that the Ministry of Interior disregards the law and insists that reconverts to Christianity should resort to the courts to get a verdict to change their religion, which is illegal and violates the Constitution’s Article 40 and 46 which guarantee equality and freedom of belief.

The appeal states that the first Article of the Constitution which is “Citizenship”, and thr other Articles guarantees equality between all citizens, regardless of their race, religion and language, and Article 46 which guarantees freedom of belief. By disregarding these articles of the Constitution , which is the supreme law in Egypt , the Ministry of Interior is making them void of contents.

It is worth mentioning that there are more than 500 lawsuits filed by Christian reconverts still awaiting the verdict of the administrative court, after they were blocked because of an appeal by a Muslim lawyer who considers reconverts to Christianity as apostates, and anything to the contrary would be denying the Islamic Shariah law. Besides reports of the Commissioners of the State in many lawsuits state that apostates should be killed if they do not repent, and stoned to death in the case of an unrepentant woman apostate.

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