Human Rights activist Gamal Eid_YOUM7_Archive
CAIRO - 27 April 2017: A lawyer who complained about the closure of his non-profit libraries should turn to the judiciary if he wants to see them reopened, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said Wednesday, adding that no one can violate a court order.
Sisi’s response to lawyer Gamal Eid came during Wednesday’s session of the National Youth Conference, which ran from Tuesday to Thursday in Ismailia.
“I’m a human rights lawyer, and opposed to you, but I’m astonished that Egypt has been nominated to UNESCO’s seat whilst its State Security shuts down public libraries, built to serve poor districts, just for retaliation. Is this fair?” Eid, head of Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), asked the president.
“You have every right to resort to legal procedures to reopen the libraries upon the court’s ruling,” Sisi replied. “No one can interfere in judicial orders. The law is clear, and we all have to comply with it.”
In December 2016, police forces closed three branches of el-Karama (Dignity) Libraries without showing permits or orders for their closure.
Eid took to the internet to comment on Sisi’s answer, saying that the libraries were unlawfully closed without a judicial order and asserting that he had referred to the head of state, the president, to stop such “oppressive” security acts.
He appealed to Egypt’s candidate for Director-General of the U.N.’s Economic, Social and Cultural Organization, Moushira Khattab, through Twitter. She promised to help reopen the libraries.
Eid submitted his question to Sisi through the “Ask the President” application the Egyptian government launched on April 22 to allow citizens to direct their inquiries and opinions directly their president.