Dokki Misdemeanor Court postponed today a lawsuit filed by the ECESR to February 13. The lawsuit was brought against Mohammed Ibrahim, the Minister of State for Antiquities, for failing to implement the provisions of law and dereliction of duty.
The Misdemeanor is the first of its kind to be brought against the Minister of State for Antiquities because of his failure to implement the provisions of law and dereliction of duty in terms of providing the necessary protection for some archaeological sites, and carrying out the necessary maintenance for their protection, preservation and restoration. This kind of dereliction of duty comes at a time when those archaeological sites are now facing dangers and damage threatening their survival and their historical and aesthetic value.
In its attempts to monitor violations and infringements on archaeological sites, the Popular Campaign for Community Control over Antiquities and Heritage has monitored a host of violations perpetrated on a number of priceless archaeological sites without taking any deterrent measures by the minister and his aides. These sites are facing dangers and damage threatening their survival as a result of theft, destruction, building on them and other serious abuses, in spite of our attempts to inform the competent authorities, but to no avail.
Invoking Article 123 of the Penal Code, which stipulates that ” a public employee shall be punished by imprisonment and dismissal if he uses his job to stop the implementation of the orders issued by the government or the provisions of the laws and regulations”, the lawyers of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights sent the Minister a formal warning by the official report No. 2071 dated 09/22/2013. The warning asked the Minister to take the legal actions to protect a number of important archaeological sites that are exposed to several violations. Needless to say, it is considered an explicit violation of the powers vested on the Minister and his aides to protect and maintain the Egyptian heritage, and a violation of the law No. 117 of 1983 on the issuance of the Monuments Protection Act. Therefore, the ECESR lawyers took the legal action and filed a direct misdemeanor against the minister for the court to sentence him in pursuance of Article 123 of the Penal Code.