The Administrative Judiciary Court postponed the verdict for a lawsuit filed by residents of Ramlet Boulaq against the Cairo governor to 25 June. The governor had issued a land seizure order on their land last year.
The verdict was initially scheduled for Tuesday.
Residents have long complained they have been facing forced migration attempts at the hands of the government allegedly on behalf of businessman Naguib Sawiris who owns the nearby Nile City Towers and accused him of wanting the land on which their shacks are located for expansion plans.
The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) lawyers argue that a land seizure order is illegal and that the governor should have instead issued a temporary eviction order. Land seizure decisions are temporary and are usually taken when the government plans to renovate, restore or generally improve an area.
The lawyers argue that in this case the Cairo governorate only plans to remove the homes there, which means the governor should have issued an eviction order not a seizure order.
An eviction order requires the government to pay the evicted citizens fair compensation for having been removed from their homes. A land seizure order does not require the government to pay such compensation since the area is supposedly being improved for its residents.
Ramlet Boulaq is mostly populated by families living in shacks and is adjacent to the Nile City Towers. The towers’ management has been trying to acquire the land for a long time now but most residents refuse to sell at what they say is an unfair price.
They claim that the governor’s decision is a ploy so that the government could bulldoze the shacks, which have been their homes for decades. After the government returns the land with their homes removed the residents say they would be under even greater pressure to sell.