Friday 31 August 2012

Statement: Administrative Judiciary Session on Preventing University Students from Traveling

September 6, 2012, the first session for Mark Nabil in the administrative judiciary regarding preventing university students from traveling.
The court of the administrative judiciary decided to set a session in the 6th of September, 2012, being the first session in the case of the minister of defense preventing university students from traveling, which was sued by the activist Mark Nabil Sanad, who is a leading member in the movement of No for Compulsory Military Service, against the minister of defense.
The case begins on Monday, 23 of April, 2012, when the passport authorities in Cairo airport prevented the activist Mark Nabil from traveling, under the pretext of the absence of a permit from the military establishment. A day earlier, both of the authorities of traveling permits in the department of recruitment and mobilization, and the board for regulation and administration, refused to give the activist a traveling permit on the pretext that they don't give such permits to university students except in the two vacations of the academic year, in the middle and the end of the academic year.

Since this travel prevention represents a violation to all the customs and the international laws which stated the right to mobility and the right to travel, Mark decided to resort to the judicature. In 31 May, 2012, the lawyer, Mahmoud Sayyed Abdelwahab, as an agent on behalf of the activist Mark Nabil, made a lawsuit against each of the minister of defense on his own, the minister of interior on his own and the adviser minister of justice on his own, demanding them to abolish decisions issued by the minister of defense and the minister of interior, which restrict the right of university students to travel, without a legal basis.

It's worth mentioning that the constitutional declaration states in the eighth article on “the personal freedom is safeguarded, untouched, unless in a case of flagrante delicto, no person may be arrested, inspected, incarcerated, have his freedom restricted by any restrictions or prevented from mobility except by a command necessitated by investigations and preservation of public security, this command is issued by the competent judge or the public prosecution”, which assures that the right to travel is a constitutionally safeguarded right, and that the only apparatuses which are authorized to prevent traveling, are the judicature and the public prosecution. The constitutional statement does not give the ministry of defense the right to prevent civilians from traveling.
Also, Egypt signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which confirms in the thirteenth article, “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”. Egypt also signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states in the twelfth article, “Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own”.

Accordingly, those applicable decisions by the ministry of defense are unconstitutional decisions, as well as they are decisions representing a deviation from the international legitimacy, and a violation to the right to travel and mobility which is stated in the international human rights laws. They also represent a punishment to a group of citizens without committing any crimes, because human rights shall not be forfeited unless for a crime, and this should be done through the judicial authority, not the executive authority.

For sure, Mark Nabil's case isn't the only one who is prevented from traveling, but all male who reached the age of 18 are prevented from traveling during all the academic years as a means of restricting their freedom and fearing their evasion of doing the compulsory military service by traveling abroad, with no legal basis, the thing which results in forfeiting the right to travel for 4 million university students, yearly.

Based on the role of the movement of No for Compulsory Military Service as an anti-militarizing movement to the state, aiming at abolishing all the types of the domination of the military establishment over civilians, it invites the Egyptian people, all the free minded people, all human rights activists and all anti-militarists in Egypt, to be in solidarity with us, by attending the session on Thursday, the 6th of September, 2012 in the state council court in Dokki, to protect the personal freedoms, to prevent the recurrence of such violations and to force the military establishment to comply with the international laws and conventions which Egypt signed, and to deliver a message that we won't allow any authority to militarists over our civilian lives anymore.
Links for the event and the photos of the stand-in. (2012-9-6)

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