Thursday, November 17, 2011

Series of “No To Compulsory Recruitment” articles - Part 3: The Unconstitutionality of Conscription


When the legislative authority makes up a law, any law, it’s necessary that this law doesn’t conflict with the constitution, because the constitution is the general legislative lines which the people have lined in order for that to be the basis of the state. Therefore, people’s deputies can’t exceed the general line which the people put.
If someone felt that there is a specific law contradicting the constitution, he has the right to reach out to the Supreme Constitutional Court which has the authority to determine if this law really constitutional or not… If the court ruled that the law is unconstitutional, the law is considered canceled and the parliament is obliged to make an alternative law to it.
The laws regulating the military service in Egypt contradict with the constitution in 6 main elements, that’s why we see that these laws are constitutional and illegitimate, so, applying the law should be stopped immediately and draft alternative laws compatible with the text of the constitution… The six contradictions are:

1- Compulsion to do the military service
The first amendment of the military service law says:
The military service is forced on all males of Egyptians who completed their 18 years of age and the national service on who completed the 18 years of the males and females, and that in accordance to the prescribed provisions of this law.”

This contradicts the constitutional text which assures personal freedom which says:
“Individual freedom is a natural right not subject to violation except in cases of flagrante delicto. No person may be arrested, inspected, detained or have his freedom restricted in any way or be prevented from free movement except by an order necessitated by investigations and the preservation of public security. This order shall be given by the competent judge or the Public Prosecution in accordance with the provisions of the law.”  Article 41.

2- Discrimination based on religion
The article 4 G of the military service law states:
“The period of the stated working compulsory military service in the article (firstly) from the article 3 is reduced to be: (G) one year for the holy Koran memorizers of it fully without carrying qualifications and a regulation with terms and conditions the availability of that condition is issued by a decision of the minister of defense with the minister specialized in Al-Azhar affairs.”

This makes a discrimination between citizens based on religion, therefore contradicts with the idea of citizenship and the civic state, and contradicts with the texts of the constitution which say:
“The Arab republic of Egypt is a state with a democratic system based on the basis of citizenship.”  Article 1
“All citizens are equal before the law. They have equal public rights and duties without discrimination due to sex, ethnic origin, language, religion or creed.”  Article 40

3- Discrimination based on gender
- The military service law says:
The military service is forced on all males of Egyptians who completed their 18 years of age and the national service on who completed the 18 years of the males and females, and that in accordance to the prescribed provisions of this law.”  Article 1

- But, the constitution explicitly states on non-discrimination between citizens based on gender, and assures the equality between both genders before the law.
“The Arab republic of Egypt is a state with a democratic system based on the basis of citizenship.”  Article 1
“All citizens are equal before the law. They have equal public rights and duties without discrimination due to sex, ethnic origin, language, religion or creed.”  Article 40

4- Forfeting the political rights
Political rights law says:
“Every Egyptian male and female who reached 18 Gregorian years has to proceed by himself the political rights… The officers and members of the armed forces, the main, the subset the additional, the officers and members of the police body, are exempted of doing this duty during all the period of their service in the armed forces or police.”  Article 1

That contradicts with constitutional texts which say that citizens are equal before the law, therefore no discrimination between them because of their profession, their work or their service in the armed forces:
The Citizen has the right to elect and express opinion in polls in accordance with the provisions of the law, and contribute in the general life is a national duty.”  Article 62
“The Arab republic of Egypt is a state with a democratic system based on the basis of citizenship.”  Article 1
“All citizens are equal before the law. They have equal public rights and duties without discrimination due to sex, ethnic origin, language, religion or creed.”  Article 40

5- The rights of travel, mobility and migration
University students in Egypt are being prevented from traveling abroad during their study in university, which contradicts with constitutional texts that assured the rights to travel, mobility and migration.
No citizen shall be prohibited form residing in any place or be forced to reside in a particular place except in cases defined by law.”  Article 50
“Citizens shall have the right to permanent or temporary emigration The law shall regulate this right and the measures and conditions of emigration.”  Article 52

6- Recruitment to the central security
The military service law says:
“The working compulsory military service and males serve it in the following organization… (B) police.” Article 2

This what happens every year when the army transfers a big percentage of the recruits to the ministry of interior, to be recruited in police, under the naming of “central security”.
This contradicts with the constitution which says:
“Police authority shall be a civil disciplinary body.”  Article 184
The State alone shall establish the Armed Forces, which shall belong to the people. Their task shall be to protect the country, safeguard its territory and security, and safety. No organization or group may establish military or paramilitary formations.”  Article 180

So, police is a civilian body, it’s prohibited on anyone except the army to make military or a paramilitary formation… Central security is a paramilitary formation, therefore the existence of the central security inside the police body is unconstitutional. Recruiting youth in the civilian police body is unconstitutional.

Related links:
* No to Compulsory Military Recruitment - an overview - (page)
* Series of "No To Compulsory Recruitment" articles - Part 1: Conscription System and it’s Legal Framework
* Series of "No To Compulsory Recruitment" articles - Part 2: Why are we Against Conscription?
* Series of “No To Compulsory Recruitment” articles - Part 4: Conscientious Objection
* Series of “No To Compulsory Recruitment” articles - Part 5: What's the Alternative? The Voluntary Recruiting System
* Series of “No To Compulsory Recruitment” articles - Part 6: Summary of our Demands
* Series of “No To Compulsory Recruitment” articles - Part 7: How Can You Help Us

Map for conscription in the world:-
Green: No armed forces
Blue: No enforced conscription
Orange: Plan to abolish conscription in the near future
Red: Conscription (notice that European countries which have conscription don't mistreat recruits and acknowledge conscientious objection to refuse recruitment)

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