Egypt: Government antiquities body launches smear campaign against researcher

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The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the repression being perpetrated by Zahi Hawass, the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, against researcher Ahmed Saleh as the latter has presented scientific theories that differ from those of Hawass and, as a result, has been subjected to dozens of investigations. Saleh is now busy defending himself against the campaign launched against him by Hawass. The legal support unit at ANHRI decided to adopt Saleh’s case and support him in the face of this injustice.

Saleh was alarmed over a series of investigations and announcements by
Hawass in newspapers that the researcher felt were intended to undermine
and ridicule him. He had previously proposed a different approach with
respect to how to deal with certain Egyptian antiquities, especially the
mummy of King Tut, among other issues, as he is a mummification specialist and has a Master’s degree in Egyptian antiquities.

However, according to Saleh, Hawass launched a media campaign against him and he was subjected to 42 separate investigations, thus turning his life
into a nightmare. It seems that Hawass could not accept a subordinate who
was more knowledgeable, even if the researcher’s theories are proven to be
correct and beneficial to Egyptian antiquities research.

Hamdy Al Assiouty, a counselor in ANHRI’s legal support unit, said, “We are
confronted with a unique case, not pertaining to professional jealousy
between manager and staff, but to inhibiting scientific views, freedom of
scientific research and the cherishing of a part of Egypt’s history. For
all of the reasons previously mentioned, we decided to defend Saleh and
support his right to express scientific propositions that may prove to be
of public interest.”

Saleh, the manager of the Mit Rahina antiquities zone, holds a Master’s
degree from Manchester University in England. He is one of the rare and
reliable experts whose opinions should be appreciated, and is considered to
serve the noble cause of cherishing Egypt’s heritage. Currently Saleh is
being deprived of promotions and cannot attend international antiquities
exhibitions, in addition to suffering salary deductions.

The Administrative Court is currently reviewing Saleh’s case against the
Supreme Council of Antiquities headed by Hawass.

SOURCE: Arabic Network for Human Rights Information

For more information:

 Arabic Network for Human Rights Information

 19-26 July St., Downtown, 4th Floor, Flat 55 Cairo, Egypt

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 Phone: +20 227 736177
Fax: +20 227 736177

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