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Editorial: Egypt 2008: Another lost child.



Just when I thought it couldneIUt get worse, an infuriating court verdict wraps up the hasty trial of what I vote to be the most tragic incident of 2008: the death of 11-year-old Islam Badr in a public school at the hands of his teacher last October.

An Alexandria court on Thursday sentenced 23-year-old mathematics teacher Haitham Nabil Abdel Hamid to six years in prison for his role in the beating death of Islam Badr whose only crime was not doing his homework.

Apart from the fact that Abdel Hamid was given the minimum penalty in such a charge when the victim is a child; even an ordinary manslaughter charge would have only led to a maximum sentence of seven years and a good lawyer could have gotten away with a voluntary manslaughter The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
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 conviction with a three-year penalty.

What was most astounding a·stound  
tr.v. a·stound·ed, a·stound·ing, a·stounds
To astonish and bewilder. See Synonyms at surprise.



[From Middle English astoned, past participle of astonen,
 during the deliberations of the trial was the complete absence of any representatives from the Ministry of Education, despite the fact that the legal team representing the childeIUs family had officially requested the testimony of three ministry officials including Education Minister Youssry Al-Gamal, all of whom made a complete mockery of the judicial system by neither appearing before the court, nor sending a representative.

I am no legal expert, but iteIUs a mystery to me that the judge even agreed to proceed with the trial without the presence of an education ministry representative who should have been in the dock with Abdel Hamid in the first place.

IsneIUt it a fact that corporal punishment corporal punishment, physical chastisement of an offender. At one extreme it includes the death penalty (see capital punishment), but the term usually refers to punishments like flogging, mutilation, and branding. Until c.  was banned by ministerial decree 591 of 1998 but that it remains common practice precisely because of the ministryeIUs failure to monitor, investigate and punish such crimes against our children; crimes that violate, not only the unwritten codes of basic humanity, but also EgypteIUs commitments contained in the UN-sponsored Cairo Declaration The Cairo Declaration was a result from Cairo Conference at Cairo, Egypt, on November 27, 1943. President Franklin Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China were present.  of 2005?

Whatever happened to the recognition that eIuchildren are citizens and fundamental partners in the democratic processeIN and that eIuall policies, programs and mechanisms pertaining to combating violence against children should be in conformity with the principles spelled out in the Convention on the Rights of the ChildeIN?

Although the family will file a request to overturn the verdict, Islam Badr is dead and the least the court should have done was to set a precedent and send a strong message to the ministry with a verdict that matches the gravity of the crime, not one that almost gives the impression that the court somehow blames the child for dieing.

I am also shocked at the near silence of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood vis-[R][sz]-vis this case, despite the fact that thr council has made undeniable strides in protecting childreneIUs rights over the past few years, especially through its 16000 hotline.

According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 summaries published in March 2008 prepared by the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, a study of 2,170 preparatory and secondary school students aged 10-20 years in 14 government schools in Alexandria in 1996-7, using a self-administered questionnaire, looked at corporal punishment in schools and in the home.

Almost four out of five boys (79.96 percent) and 61.53 percent of girls reported corporal punishment by teachers during one year using hands, sticks, straps, shoes and kicks; more than a quarter of boys and 18 percent of girls reported that beatings caused injuries.

More recent findings published by UNICEF UNICEF (y`nĭsĕf'), the United Nations Children's Fund, an affiliated agency of the United Nations.  last year, claimed that 50 percent of children in Upper Egypt and 70 percent of children in urban areas report corporal punishment in schools.

IeIUm astounded a·stound  
tr.v. a·stound·ed, a·stound·ing, a·stounds
To astonish and bewilder. See Synonyms at surprise.



[From Middle English astoned, past participle of astonen,
 that the death of Islam Badr has not triggered a nation-wide campaign under the auspices of First Lady Suzanne Mubarak Suzanne Mubarak (birth name Suzanne Saleh Sabet or Thabet) (Arabic: سوزان مبارك) (born February 28, 1941) is married to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and is the first lady of Egypt.  to obliterate o·blit·er·ate
v.
1. To remove an organ or another body part completely, as by surgery, disease, or radiation.

2. To blot out, especially through filling of a natural space by fibrosis or inflammation.
 corporal punishment in schools completely the way she responded instantly to the horrible death of another 12-year-old child Bodour Shaker during an illegal female genital mutilation female genital mutilation: see circumcision.  procedure.

Must our endemic social problems turn into international scandals to warrant due attention?

Islam BadreIUs case was just one of many court cases whose verdicts shocked the nation this year: The Salam Ferry case where owner Mamdouh Ismail This article may violate Wikipedia's policy on biographies of living persons.

Articles may not contain unsourced or poorly sourced controversial claims about living people.
, his son and five other executives were absolved of all responsibility; the illegal trial of 40 Muslim Brotherhood Muslim Brotherhood, officially Jamiat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun [Arab.,=Society of Muslim Brothers], religious and political organization founded (1928) in Egypt by Hasan al-Banna.  leaders, 25 of whom were handed up to seven-year prison sentences; and the recent conviction of 22 ordinary citizens who dared to speak out against rising food prices in Mahalla last April, to name a few.

The miscarriage of justice A legal proceeding resulting in a prejudicial out-come.

A miscarriage of justice arises when the decision of a court is inconsistent with the substantive rights of a party.
 is a terrible thing but to me 2008, like 2007 before it, will always be remembered for the heartbreaking death of a child. May God have mercy on thier souls.

Rania Al Malky is the Chief Editor of Daily News Egypt. If youeIUve missed our special year-end issue published on Tuesday Dec. 23, go to www.thedailynewsegypt.com for round-up articles on Egyptian politics, society, business and culture in 2008.

E Daily NewsEgypt 2007

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Dec 26, 2008
Words:823
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