Corruption of some of the agrarian reform employees in Egypt

Source: Land Center for Human Rights LCHR – Egypt

LCHR demands the Minister of Agriculture and the Prosecutor General to stand against the corruption of some of the agrarian reform employees in Kafr El Rahmaneya – Behira governorate.

LCHR has received several complaints from farmers living in Ezbet Moharam, El Kom, Mas’ood, Khamees Ibrahim, Mahalat Thabet and Ashraf El Baroudy villages – Behira governorate stating that some of the agrarian reform employees have colluded with some ownership claimers to seize 36 feddans of agrarian land that are being farmed by 110 farmers and their families.

This problem goes back to the decisions issued to distribute agrarian lands owned by El Baroudy family among farmers in 1964. Then in 1967, a decision was issued for the temporary release of 36 feddans to Ashraf El Baroudy to benefit o this land in a time period of one year from the date off the release.

The thing is that this area of land is still in the possession of Ashraf El Baroudy and the agrarian reform corporation did not issue a decision to take it back.

The farmers have been farming this land from 1964 till 1997. After that, there was a collusion between, as some employees from Kafr El Rahmaneya trust association have abused the ignorance of the farmers and took money from them claiming that the farmers will obtain the ownership of this land. Then an ownership claimer claimed that she is the only remaining inheritor of El Baroudy family and demanded the farmers to pay rental values for the lands that they are farming for the past 30 years, then she sold the land to some influential people from other villages In El Rahmaneya area with the help of the agrarian reform corporation and the trust association.

The farmers filed lawsuits to prove their ownership of their lands that they have been farming for more than 30 years, which legally give them the right to own these lands.

The agrarian reform corporation in Behira has issued a decision in 2005 stating the nullity of the actions of the ownership claimer and obligating the farmers to pay rents or the year 2005 to the agrarian reform corporation. The farmers have welcomed this decision. But in
2006, the agrarian reform corporation has issued another decision stating the approval of the actions of the ownership claimer and acknowledging her as an owner of this area of land, and it has registered the land to her name in the trust association.

What has happened is just one of the continuous scenes of corruption inside the state foundations, and corruption has increased recently inside the agrarian reform corporation to seize farmers” lands by forgery and falsification of documents, and they money by making them believe that they will own the lands that they are farming if they certain amounts of money, as most of the farmers have paid around 10 thousand pounds for the ownership procedures.

LCHR would like to express its deepest concern and fear of this continuous and increasing corruption inside the different branches of the agrarian reform corporation, which will lead to several problems and crisis by wasting farmers’ right to safe land possession, which will
eventually lead to violent events between the farmers and the ownership claimers.

The LCHR has presented a communiqué to the Prosecutor General demanding him to prosecute the corrupted employees in the agrarian reform corporation in Behira who have used their positions to steal farmers’ money and lands. LCHR has also demanded him to return the money to the farmers that have been collected from 1967 till 1997.

LCHR has also filed lawsuit no. 10312/61 judiciary before the administrative judiciary court to cancel the decision of the agrarian reform corporation that acknowledges the actions of the ownership claimer.

LCHR calls all civil society organizations to unite in solidarity with El Rahmaneya farmers to the ill-treatment practiced against them by some authorities and protect their rights to have a free, safe and dignified life.

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