Victory for Human Rights in Egypt: Baha'is Can Have ID Cards & Birth Certificates

{josquote}...the Egyptian Baha'is will now be able to enjoy all their rights of citizenship in their homeland.{/josquote}

Cairo's Court of Administrative Justice has just ruled now in favor of the Egyptian Baha'is, allowing them to obtain identification documents and birth certificates. The verdict opens the door for the Egyptian Baha'is to leave the religious classification section blank (enter dashes or "other") on all identification documents and other official documents including birth certificates, according to the court's ruling. The final choice between these allowed options will be determined later. In effect, the Egyptian Baha'is will now be able to enjoy all their rights of citizenship in their homeland.

This particular verdict involves the case of the 14-year-old twin children, Emad and Nancy Raouf Hindi who, until this date, were without Egyptian birth certificates. It also involves the case of the 18-year-old university student, Hussein Hosni Bakhit Abdel-Massih, who was dismissed from the university consequent to his inability to obtain a military postponement certificate required for the continuation of his education. Since he was not permitted the issue of a national ID number and an ID card because of being a Baha'i, he could not obtain the required military certificate.

These cases suffered six postponements before today's ruling. This verdict illustrates Egypt's willingness to move forward in her path towards progress and tolerance. It is also a testimony to the emerging independence of the judiciary. It upholds Egypt's commitment towards the enforcement of equal rights to all her citizens.

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