Egyptian-American sues government over custody law

Egyptian-American Mohamad Abd al-Sameea is suing the Egyptian government through the international court system because of Egypt's "parental visitation" law that, al-Sameea says, has prevented him from seeing his daughter since 2006. The US resident also sent complaints to the US State Department and Human Rights Watch.

The law technically permits a three-hour weekly visit but al-Sameea says problems created by his ex-wife have denied him these visits. The Egyptian-American says he filed the suit and issued the complaints after top Egyptian officials in the National Council of Human Rights and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood prevented him from continuing to pursue the matter through legal channels.

Al-Sameea told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he is basing his lawsuit on the unconstitutionality of the case according to Hanafi (madhab) Islamic jurisprudence. He is calling on the government to adhere to the rules of Islamic law and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"Following my divorce, I was struck by the visitation law of which you will find no comparable law anywhere in the world that prevents a father from sharing in the child's custody," he said.

He said that following his divorce he received only three court ordered visitation rights. According to al-Sameea, he then decided to use his rights as a US citizen to sue the Egyptian government after his appeals to parliament and the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak produced no results.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

Related Articles

Back to top button