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Prevention of Holding the ACJLP's Press Conference

Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession

The Cairo-based Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and 
the Legal Profession (ACIJLP) has been experienced on Monday October 12, 
1998 a critical situation. The press conference it planed to hold to 
announce the report that was previously issued by the Center for the 
Independence of Judges and Lawyers' (CIJL) on the Egyptian Bar Crisis 
was obstructed by the court sequestration administration.=20

The CIJL's mission took place from 10-16 March 1998. Its investigation 
included talks with parties involved in the crisis within the Bar, a 
number of council heads in the regional bars, some famous Egyptian 
lawyers, and some government officials. This investigation resulted in a 
final report illustrating the current deadlock situation of the Bar and 
the Egyptian government official response to the primary report.=20

As an honest attempt to promote productive and democratic cooperation 
with the court sequestration administration of the Bar, ACIJLP contacted 
them to prepare a press conference in which the results of report would 
be announced. The court sequestration representative welcomed the idea 
and accepted holding the conference on October 12, 1998 at noon. 
Nevertheless, on time dated, ACIJLP was astonished to find out that the 
representative was absent, although he was supposed to attend the 
conference. Moreover, the administration of the Bar misled some 
journalists by telling them that the conference had been canceled. 
Furthermore, they insisted on closing all available halls to prevent 
holding the conference.

Accordingly, ACIJLP insisted on holding the conference inside the Bar. 
It was held in the reception hall. The press release issued by the CIJL 
was recited and copies of the Mission's report were distributed in both 
Arabic and English.

ACIJLP perceives this event as a tragic demonstration of the worrisome 
situation that Egyptian Bar Association (EBA) is facing. The security 
apparatus now administers EBA that has been a militant fighter for 
freedom in Egypt and throughout the Arab world. Such situation impedes 
lawyers from practicing any activity related to the Bar. Moreover, the 
event clarifies a point emphasized earlier in the report, namely the 
government's negative intervention.

Contact Nasser Amin  (ACIJLP)
Tel: (202) 3550871 Tel/Fax: (202) 5942734

October 13, 1998

Human Rights in Egypt

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