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Blogger finds himself unemployed for "being absent from work without an excuse" during time he was in prison

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 4 November 2010 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the issuing in 2009 of Decree #55 by the Education Directorate to conclude the services of Hani Nazeer as a training specialist in a preparatory school in Qena, allegedly for being absent from work without an excuse.

Hani, owner of the blog, http://haninazeeraziz.blogspot.com , was arrested under the emergency law in Nague Hammdi, Qena, in October 2008, with the complicity of the church, as he posted topics that security officials did not approve of. The Ministry of Interior ignored the many release orders that were issued for Hani, keeping him in custody and deleting his blog contents. He was finally released in July 2010 after 21 months of detention, only to find himself jobless for being absent from work without an excuse - as if he chose to be arrested illegally by the State Security Investigations (SSI) unit and detained for 21 months.

ANHRI said, "The excuse given by the Ministry of Education to prevent Hani from returning to his work is unacceptable. The SSI should be held responsible for illegally detaining Hani for his opinions, in defiance of release orders issued by the courts. The blogger should have been compensated for the violations and arbitrary actions of the Ministry of Interior while he was in prison, but, ironically, he found that he is being subjected to more violations and harassment outside prison."

ANHRI is of the view that the Egyptian government has to resolve this confusion between the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Interior. The government must ensure that the Ministry of Education returns Hani to his post instead of holding him liable for the illegal practices of the Ministry of Interior. If Hani does not get his job back, it will be evident that the whole issue revolves around roles the ministries are playing in order to continue to hinder Hani specifically and freedom of expression in general.

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