Cairo in 20/10/2009.
Activists, Lawyers and human rights organizations decided to start a campaign in solidarity with Hassan Hanafi and Sayed ElQemany to support them against Hesba cases that were filed against them by some publicity seeking, mediocre, hostile to research and freedom of thought group.
After Hanafi and Qemany have received the State Merit Prize, a lot of debate was stirred by conservatives and extremists who mostly have not read any of Hanafi and Qemany books. They referred to a resolution of an organization called ” Azhar Scholars Front” that deliberately incited negatively against both intellectuals due to their writings and studies in history.
Pioneers of the campaign in support of freedom of scientific research and creativity stated, ” We will strongly back up innovators and defend their right to research and express. Now that all prosecutors or their supporters or even the so called scholars of religion have declined all suggestions of holding debates about the disputed books, having not read any of them, we assert that those enemies of thought are only capable of the legal chase seeking publicity or wealth or just for the sake of terrorizing intellectuals and researchers.”
The cases against “Hanafi” and “Qemany” are not the first attempt to limit the freedom of research and the right to creativity. There were other attempts to inhibit freedom of expression and the right to research against many researchers and against both intellectuals as well.
Earlier ,Qemany himself has received several life threats as a result of some “Fatwa” (resolution ) of some extremist Islamic figures and groups stating Qemany’s heresy and blasphemy and that he was an infidel Moslem.
This came after the Islamic Research Department ,affiliate of Azhar institute, has confiscated Qemany’s book “Rab Azzaman” (God of Time). As a result ,Qemany was prosecuted, and the investigation was closed in favor of Qemany.
Human rights organizations joining the campaign stated that it would have been more effective to respond to thoughts by thoughts and opinions by opinions. An opinion should never drag anyone to court. It is not discrediting to any thinker to criticize their thoughts , but it is unacceptable to file law suits and Hesba cases to limit and terrorize freedom of creativity and research. Currently, legal pursuits are the easiest way to persecute intellectuals and scholars in Egypt.
Organizations and activists are welcomed to sign the statement. All efforts are welcomed to join this campaign against Hesba cases even if anyone would differ with Hanafi and Qemany , we all endorse and support freedom of expression and research.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
Al Helaly Institute for Freedoms
Bodies Joining in
Human Rights First Association – Saudi Arabia
Bahrain Youth Association For Human Rights
Bahrain Center For Human Rights
The Egyptian Center For Education Right
Tunisian Observatory For Rights And Union Freedoms
HUMANITARIAN LAW & HUMAN RIGHTS
Activists Joining in
Ibrahim Abd Al Rahman – Lawyer
Saeed Aref – Lawyer
Samir Al Bagoury – Lawyer
Please write to
or Call :
Association For Freedom of Thought and Expression: (202)33308441
Hisham Mubarak Law Center: (202) 57589082
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information: (202) 27736177