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Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
EIPRLogo docs.jpg
Type Non-profit
Headquarters Cairo, Egypt
Method Human rights, Advocacy

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) is an independent Egyptian human rights organization, established in 2002.


Vision and mandate

The EIPR was established to complement the work of other Egyptian human rights groups by adopting as its mandate, and focus of concern, a group of rights and freedoms that are closest to the human-being: his/her body, privacy and house. These rights often are ignored or overlooked. The EIPR activists believe that the crucial importance of public freedoms and political rights must be grounded in an understanding of the indispensability of full protection for personal rights. EIPR activists share a notion that the individual is not reducible to a mere component of the community or the State. Therefore, responsibilities and duties that result from the individual's belonging to his/her community and State should affirm, not destroy, the individual's capacity to make choices and maintain independence as a free entity. Each member of society deserves respect for her or his personal dignity and integrity. Thus, they aim to explore the line between private and public in the lives of individual members of community and society, while realizing the interrelation and interdependence of these two spheres. They also attempt to promote a debate about the State's legitimate powers and the areas it should not invade while undertaking its legitimate responsibilities to protect people from abuse.


The EIPR works in three main areas:

Right to Privacy

This program covers a group of rights that are related to the private lives of individuals, including their rights to secrecy of communications and correspondence, to freedom of religion and belief, to protection of reputation, and to adequate housing; in addition to sexual and reproductive rights of women and men.

Health and Human Rights

The EIPR considers the enjoyment of the right to health to be a prerequisite for the enjoyment of other bodily rights. As Egypt’s only special health and rights program, this program promotes and defends people's right to access to health services, treatment and essential medicines and freedom from discrimination based on health status. Other subjects of concern include HIV/AIDS and human rights, the interrelation between health and violence, and reproductive health issues in Egypt.

Violence and Bodily Integrity

This program will focus on the protection of the individual's body from all forms of assault. The program will pay special attention to fighting physical and sexual violence in the family, especially against women and children, as well as the eradication of widespread corporal punishment of school children. The program will also attempt to develop a rights-based approach that outlines the responsibility of the State towards eradicating sexual violence by non-State actors. We plan to launch this program in the second half of 2008.


The EIPR's work on Freedom of Belief

In December 2006, the Supreme Administrative Court of Egypt denied an Egyptian adherent to the Bahá'í Faith access to identification cards, in a case filed by the EIPR.

Since the December 16, 2006 decision by Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court, the EIPR filed two lawsuits addressing the rights of Baha'i individuals to basic identity documents and education. The first lawsuit was on behalf of a Bahá'í university student, Hosni Hussein Abdel-Massih.[1] Abdel-Massih was suspended from the Suez Canal University's Higher Institute of Social Work since he was unable to obtain an identity card due to his religious affiliation.[1] The second lawsuit concerned 14-year-old twins, Imad and Nancy Raouf Hindi, who were unable to obtain the new computer-generated birth certificates unless they listed one of three heavenly religions on those documents.

On January 29, 2008, Cairo's Court of Administrative Justice ruled in favor of the Bahá'ís, allowing them to obtain identification documents with no religious affiliation. The Court said that the government did not have the right to deny Egyptian citizens essential identity documents and access to basic services, even if their religion is not recognized by the state.[2] [3] The director of the EIPR, Hossam Bahgat, said that this was "a very welcome decision. It addresses a great injustice suffered by Bahai citizens who face arbitrary and discriminatory practices based on their religious beliefs. We urge that the authorities implement the Administrative Court's decision."[3]


  1. ^ a b Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (2007-09-05). "Court Decisions on Baha'i Egyptians Postponed to 30 October". Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. Retrieved 2007-09-08.  
  2. ^ "Egypt: Court Prohibits Withholding Documents from Baha’is" The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, January 30, 2008. Available at:
  3. ^ a b Carr, Sarah (2008-01-29). "Favorable verdict a victory for Bahais". Daily News Egypt. Retrieved 2008-01-30.  

See also

Further reading

External links


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