Joint statement: Human rights organizations condemn the continued abuses against mechanical engineering professor Manar Al-Tantawy
The undersigned human rights organizations condemn the continued arbitrary practices by the Higher Technological Institute (HTI) in the 10th of Ramadan City against the assistant professor at the institute’s Mechanical Engineering Department at the 6th of October branch, Manar Al-Tantawy. They call for an immediate end to the repeated violations against her and the speedy implementation of the ruling issued in her favour to obtain a professor’s degree.
On 30 August 2022, the Administrative Judiciary Court accepted Appeal No. 61520 of 75 filed on behalf of Al-Tantawy against the negative decision by the HTI and the Ministry of Higher Education not to grant her a professor’s degree.
The court stated in its reasoning that Al-Tantawy presented her scientific production to the academic committee concerned with promotion to the rank of professor at the Supreme Council of Universities, and the committee recommended her promotion to a professor’s degree. However, the HTI administration did not complete the promotion procedures, which makes the contested decision a violation of the law.
Despite the court ruling, which has become final and enforceable as no appeals were filed against it within the sixty days that followed its issuance, the Ministry of Higher Education and the HTI administration still refrain from implementing the ruling and refuse to promote Al-Tantawy, thus depriving her of positions – such as head of the department and undersecretary of the institute – to which she is entitled.
Instead of granting Al-Tantawy her legal rights, the HTI administration tends to escalate the situation by pushing her into an endless series of investigations and disciplinary measures marred with many legal violations. These include the insistence not to notify her officially of the date of investigation as well as the accusations levelled against her at least two weeks in advance according to the law. Moreover, Al-Tantawy appear before investigators including some of the HTI professors who are at odds with her, since they assume the positions of the institute’s undersecretaries, while she is more entitled to the position given her seniority and the fact that she has not yet exceeded the legal age.
The undersigned organizations reiterate their strong condemnation of the arbitrary measures and abuses against Al-Tantawy, and call on the HTI to stop all ongoing arbitrary investigations and to promote her to a professor’s degree.
Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
El Nadeem Center
Egyptian Front for Human Rights
Sinai Foundation for Human Rights