A court verdict in favor of Haram City inhabitants
On April 9th, the Egyptian Center for Housing Rights (ECHR) got a court verdict in favor of Haram City inhabitants by finding them Innocents. Thus, Orascom Company – the owner of the Haram City Housing project- has falsely accused 88 persons from the poor inhabitants by stealing doors and windows from the project.
The Court held its judgment against the inhabitants by putting them in jail for six months. However, the people and the Center did not receive any notice by the case and the court decision was made with the absence of the people and their lawyers.
ECHR contested the court role and the court reviewed the case again, found the people guilty, and charged them by one week in jail. Twenty seven persons of the inhabitants executed the penalty and spent a week in jail.
ECHR appealed again against the first degree court role at the high court. The high court gave its decision, which was mentioned above, by finding the people innocents.
The fact of the dispute backs years ago 2008 after the rock fall in Dawiyqa, an informal area in Cairo, which resulted in the death and injures of tens of people. After the rock fall, the government decided to rehabilitate the people who live in Dawiyqa in dangerous locations in new places. Because of the lack of governmental housing units at that time, the government made a deal with Orascom Company, which is a private company, and bought small units from it to deliver to the people.
A number of families got shocked when they received very small units –net area 22 meters - that are not adequate by all means to live in with their families. However, some other families received bigger units 63 meters.
The inhabitants tried many times to meet Cairo governorate officials with no response at all and according to their very bad situation specially in winter, as some members of the families had to stay and sleep outside the flats, they broke into bigger units 63 meters.
Orascom Company filed a case in court to evict the people from the units and got a court verdict by evicting them. Unfortunately, the inhabitants reached ECHR after the court decision was issued. ECHR stopped the eviction and contested the eviction decision in court, which is still viewing the case.
In addition, ECHR filed another case in Court against Cairo Governorate in order to treat those inhabitants the same treatment it treated other families by providing them with bigger housing unit (63 meters), and to provide the inhabitants by legal documents that prove their acquisition of the units as the relation is between the inhabitants and Cairo governorate and not between the inhabitants and Orascom Company.
Moreover, the same inhabitants have been accused before in another case by many charges such as mobbing, assaulting authorities; disturb public rest etc. when they organized a sit- in in front of Cairo governorate to protest against their eviction order and to demand their rights in bigger units as the other families. ECHR has represented the inhabitants in that case too and got a court verdict in favor of them by finding them innocents.
However the main case is related to housing rights, but the different parties such as the authorities and Orascom Company are trying to defeat and thwart the inhabitants by many false allegations and court cases in order to exhaust them and their lawyers (ECHR) by many false allegations and cases to oblige them to leave their housing units.
According to the new court verdict, ECHR will file cases against Orascom Company by false allegations and against the State to compensate the people for being held unjustly in jail for a week.