The Administrative Court postpones the lawsuit to include martyr Luke Nagat, one of the Coptic martyrs in Libya, in the Martyrs Honoring Fund


1 March 2022

February 26, 2022, the Administrative Court of the First Circuit (Liberties) held the first hearing of Case No. 22134 for the year 76 J, regarding the non-inclusion of martyr Luke Nagat Anis - one of the Coptic martyrs in Libya - in the Fund for Honoring the Martyrs of War, Terror and Security Operations and their families, with consequent deprivation of his family of the financial and moral benefits provided by the Fund. The court decided to adjourn the hearing of the case until April 2, pending the receipt of the report of the commission.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) filed the appeal on behalf of Nagat Anis Abdo Menkerios, father of martyr Luke, on January 4, 2022. The lawsuit was filed against the Prime Minister, the Minister of Social Solidarity, and the Executive Director of the Fund for Honoring Martyrs, Victims and Missing Persons of War, Terror and Security Operations, and their families in their capacity.

EIPR explained in the lawsuit memo that the events date back to the end of 2014, when the terrorist organization ISIS kidnapped 21 Christian Egyptian workers in Libya. During that period, the families of the kidnapped knocked on the doors of the officials to return their relatives. That was before all efforts failed, and the terrorist organization broadcasted a video of the slaughter of the kidnapped Egyptians in February 2015. At the time, the Egyptian government declared a state of mourning, and took some measures, including the payment of compensation and the construction of the “Cathedral of the Martyrs of Faith and the Nation” church in the village of Al-Awar, Samallout district, north of Minya Governorate. The government had also issued several decisions considering that everyone who was killed in this tragic incident was a martyr, entitled to the treatment of martyrs. Indeed, their names were included in the fund honoring the martyrs, victims, missing persons, casualties of war, terrorist and security operations, and their families, except for the plaintiff's son.

EIPR added that in September 2021, the financial dues were paid to the families of the martyrs of the terrorist operation (ISIS Libya), except for the family of the martyr Luke Nagat, where the administrative authority refrained from implementing the decision to include his name in the Martyrs and Victims Honor Fund, and consequently depriving his relatives of all financial and moral rights established in accordance with the provisions of the Law and Administrative Decisions Nos. 339 of 2015 and 2272 of 2020.

The reasons for the appeal submitted by EIPR stated that the decision contradicts the Egyptian constitution and the provisions of the law, which stipulates honoring the martyrs, as successive Egyptian constitutions since 1971 have honored the families of the martyrs and obligated the state to ensure the necessary care for the families of the martyrs and the injured. Article (16) of the current constitution stipulates: The state is obligated to honor the martyrs of the homeland, so that the concept of “the martyrs of the homeland” includes everyone who gave his life in order to raise the status of the homeland in all fields of national action, whether they were martyred in military operations, in which the army confronts the enemies of the state from abroad, or in security operations, in which the police confronts enemies of the state internally, or those who were martyred in the revolutions of the Egyptian people throughout its history, in which the people came out demanding their legitimate rights to live in dignity and freedom.” The memorandum of appeal added that while Egypt is fighting the war on terrorism, its civilians and military fell from among its citizens, which prompted the legislator to enact the law No. 16 of 2018 to honor the victims of terrorist operations, and to establish a fund to honor the martyrs and victims of war, terrorist and security operations and their families. In the fourth paragraph of Article 1, it is stated that a “Victim: Every person who lost his life as a result of a war, terrorist or security operation and was not among the law enforcement force while carrying out its duties, or was charged with combating crime while doing so, and a decision is issued in his name by the Prime Minister.”

The EIPR memorandum referred to the issuance of Cabinet Resolution No. 339 of 2015 on February 16, 2015 “considering the treatment of all those killed in the terrorist incident committed by the terrorist organization ISIS in Libya as martyrs,” and the text of Article (1) included that “everyone who was killed in the terrorist incident committed in Libya on February 15, 2015 is entitled to the treatment of martyrs stipulated in the laws, regulations and decisions in force in that regard”.

In the lawsuit, EIPR demanded to stop the implementation of the negative decision to refrain from including the name of martyr Luka Nagat Anis in the fund honoring the martyrs and victims of war, terrorist and security operations and their families, while obligating the respondent to pay financial and moral compensation, and to treat the son of the appellant as martyrs were treated like the martyrs of terrorist operations in the State of Libya in 2015.