Emergency law means more emergency for Egyptians
Emergency law means more emergency for Egyptians
Friday, May 14,2010 00:31

President Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs urged Egypt to complete its anti-terrorism legislation and repeal the emergency law which has been extended once again. The law imposed since 1981 has targeted political opposition including the Muslim Brotherhood, rights activists and bloggers


Human rights organizations asserted that it was necessary that the law be revoked since it was a complete violation to the basic rights of citizens. The controversial law, which gives police wide powers of arrest, suspends constitutional rights and curbs non-governmental political activity, was backed by a majority of Egypt 's ruling party in parliament


Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif's allegations that the law would not be used to undermine the freedoms or infringe rights were met with skeptism by the opposition. Muslim Brotherhood leader Dr. Mohamed El-Beltagy argued, "There are no free and fair elections with emergency law in place". Opposition slammed the changes, saying the law still allowed indefinite detention and other measures by Mubarak's regime to silence his opponents.

Rights groups warned that the Egyptian emergency law may be used to manipulate the outcome of elections.

Hafez Abu Saada, from human rights feared that the two-year renewal was decided so as to be used during the elections for parliament later this year to haul in opposition before Shura, parliament and the 2011 presidential poll.

The United States, Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton expressed "disappointment " over the law's extension and called on Egypt to replace it with a counterterrorism law to protect the civil liberties and dignity of Egyptian citizens. The US administration claimed that Egypt missed an opportunity to signal its embrace of universal values to the rest of the world.