Egypt- The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) stated that the fact that two years have gone by since the closure of Al-Karama libraries, that were established by human rights lawyer Gamal Eid using the money of the defender human dignity award he received in 2011, will not white-wash the crime of the police regime in Egypt and it will always be a stain of shame and disgrace, no matter how its followers and figures attempt to obscure this crime and beautify the image, as it exposes the essence of a regime which is hostile to knowledge, culture, and education and carries out acts of reprisals against its opponents, even at the expense of thousands of young people and poor children who have been deprived of their right to education, culture and awareness, by closing these libraries.
On the morning of December 1, 2016, a force led by police officers set out to shut down the libraries, without a judicial order or legal basis, except for instructions from the political police apparatus known as “The National Security”.
Al-Karama libraries began with one in Tora Albalad, then Khatwa library in Dar El-Salaam, and then extended to include the rest of the libraries in Zagazig, Bulaq, Khanka, and Ain Al-Sira.
Despite the visit of former head of UNESCO candidate; “Moushira Khattab” to one of Al-Karama libraries, praising the books and activities, meeting parents and families of children, and promising to raise their voices condemning the closure, she sided with the police by remaining silent, then claiming that it was in the hands of the judiciary, although she knew that there was no case nor judicial decision to close the libraries, and that it was merely political revenge by the national security apparatus against the founder of the libraries “Gamal Eid” because of his human rights career, after adding him to a fabricated case; the case known as “Case 173 against civil society organizations” failed to silence him or stop him from working on exposing abhorrent human rights violations in Egypt.
Gamal Eid, the Executive Director of ANHRI and founder of Al-Karama Libraries said: “Attempts by some of the regime’s journalists failed to obscure the closure of the libraries, and portraying the crime as if it was based on a judicial order, while some were thrown into the shadow, such as Lamis Hadidi and Usama Kamal, Moushira Khattab’s failure to get the title of Director of UNESCO, the crime of shutting down libraries is still ongoing, especially when compared to the number of prisons established by the police regime in Egypt, where libraries become an achievement for civil society activists and prisons the equivalent for the regime in Egypt, and this is the difference. ”
ANHRI re-publishes the balance sheet of Al-Karama libraries, to bear witness to a crime that will not be washed away by time but will remain as a witness to the extent to which the regime is willing to go in its conflicts on one hand and its hostility towards awareness and culture on the other.