October 2, 2002 Special Dispatch No. 425

Egyptian Court Rules to Disband the Cairo Association for Peace

October 2, 2002
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 425

The Egyptian opposition weekly Al-Usbu' reported on an Egyptian administrative court's decision to disband a voluntary Egyptian organization that was founded to strengthen the peace process. The article's author, journalist Muhammad 'Abdallah, described the court's decision as "a new blow to the advocates of normalization." The following is a translation of the report. [1]

Ruling to Disband Association Has Finally Been Published
"After four years of litigation in the administrative court, the report of the state attorneys on Case No. 1796, regarding the disbanding of the Cairo Association for Peace and the abolition of all decisions stemming from the decision [to establish it] has been published."

"The report, which is considered a mark of honor… for the Egyptian court, silenced the tongues that sought to sell out the reputation of the Egyptian legal [system] and to hint that pressure [was applied] on the administrative court so that it would not publish a decision in this suit, on the pretext that the political circumstances of the Arab homeland do not permit confrontation with Israel or its supporters."

"On September 17, 1998, a suit was filed in the administrative court by attorney and Ambassador Ibrahim Yusri, former director of the Foreign Ministry's Department of International Law and Agreements. The suit sought the disbanding of the Cairo Association for Peace, Registry No. 392, 1998, and the suspension of all its activity and the abolition of all decisions concerning it."

"This was because this association's activity is not subordinate to the clauses of the Law of Associations, and is even considered political party activity. Similarly, considerations of public interest require caution towards any activity that concerns Israel, out of fear for the well-being of the land and [for the sake of] state security. This matter makes the decision to [found] the association null and void…"

Disseminating the Culture of Peace Does Not Serve the Law
"The report states that conducting research, holding conferences and scientific conventions to disseminate the culture of peace in the full meaning of the term, and the exchange of visits with similar groups from Israel are not considered cultural, scientific, or religious services for which the association was established, in accordance with the sense set out by law.

Similarly, none [of these activities] are included in the areas specified in the statutes of the Law of Associations and private institutions or those for which a ruling is issued by the Minister of Social Affairs..."

"The plaintiff attorney, Ibrahim Yusri, stresses that the ruling is not unusual in the Egyptian legal system… which does not surrender to pressure, and that the other party [the defendant] tried to hint that pressure was applied to prevent the publication of this report. He stressed that the political circumstances of the region, Israel's acts of aggression, the siege of the Palestinian president, and the slaughter of dozens of defenseless Egyptian [sic] people on the occupied land, all call for the non-recognition of anybody calling for normalization of relations or making contact with the Zionist enemy."

"[Ibrahim Yusri] stresses that the [Egyptian] political leadership decided to freeze all forms of normalization except for what could serve the [Palestinian] issue. The activity of the Cairo Association for Peace deviated from this framework, because it calls for a culture of so-called peace at the height of a sweeping tide of blood pouring out onto the land of Palestine.

Similarly, the so-called peace movement in Israel has made no concessions and has not called for such concessions as have been called for by the forces of submission in Egypt. Ambassador Ibrahim Yusri noted that public opinion polls in Israel show the absence of influence of these forces [for peace] in every decision made on the part of the State of Israel."

The Ball is in the Court of the Associations Opposed to Normalization
"Now that the committee of the state attorneys published its ruling [on] abolishing the Cairo Association for Peace, the ball is in the court of the associations opposed to normalization, who awaited a verdict of this kind so that they could focus public opinion in Egypt and in the Arab world on resistance to the associations of surrender, which apparently do not feel pain at the sight of the blood of Palestinians being shed by the oppressing occupation."

[1] Al-Usbu' (Egypt), September 30, 2002.

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