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Tomorrow: Council of State hears the Case of Ramlet Boulaq Land Seizures by Cairo Governorate

On Tuesday the Fourth Circuit Administrative Court of the Council of State will hear case number 55874 for the judicial year 66 filed by the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights on behalf of Ramlet Boulaq residents: Hammad Arabi El-Sayed Hammad, Ismail Mohamed Ismail, Tamer Saber Fahmy, and Ibrahim Hamouda Mohamed Ismail, against the governor of Cairo and the chairman of the Slum Development Fund, appealing the governor’s decision 8993 for 2011 concerning the temporary land seizure of the Nile Tower slums, Boulaq Abu El-Ela, Cairo. This decision was published in the official, issue number 142, dated 20/06/2012.

Malek Ali, the lawyer at the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights says that this decision was issued in conjunction with a number of harassment and security threats to the occupants of the properties telling them to leave them to business men or to the many realtors, while the administrative authorities insist on not extending the necessary services/ facilities for a dignified/ decent life to this neighborhood.

Furthermore they are living in a state of instability and fear of losing their only shelter/ home, forcing them to appeal this decision for violating the ideal of social justice and protecting the various forms of ownership guaranteed by successive constitutions and the most recent of which is the recent constitutional declaration.

Mohamed Adel, the lawyer at the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social rights says that since the time of Mubarak and to this date, the government’s plans are based on forcing the poor to evacuate their homes in the city center and relocating them to the desert under the pretext of development. Before issuing the decision to seize the land, the Cairo governorate should have discussed the plans for development with the community to reach a view where their rights to stay in Ramlet Boulaq are maintained while developing it at the same time.

Malek Adly said “The persecution, police terror, the storming of the neighborhood at night, and the random arrests of the inhabitants of Ramlet Boulaq is inseparable from the decision to seize the land; the government has a plan that includes legal, police, and media axes to eject the residents of the neighborhood. The manifestation of the legal and administrative axes is reflected in the decision to seize the land, constant [police] raids and arrests of the neighborhood’s youth. As for the media component, it is materialized in the attempt to tarnish the image of the residents in an apparent attempt to exploit the Orascom Tower incident which witnessed the killing of one of the residents and the wounding of four others. 17 residents are still detained pending the case.