Egypt emergency law condemned

2010-05-11 18:10
A demonstrator wearing symbolic chains and blindfold holds a partially-seen banner showing a skeleton at a demonstration held against the nearly 30-year old emergency laws in front of the parliament building in downtown Cairo, Egypt. (Ben Curtis, AP)

A demonstrator wearing symbolic chains and blindfold holds a partially-seen banner showing a skeleton at a demonstration held against the nearly 30-year old emergency laws in front of the parliament building in downtown Cairo, Egypt. (Ben Curtis, AP) (Ben Curtis)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Human Rights Watch (HRW) and supporters of high-profile dissident Mohamed ElBaradei on Tuesday condemned Egypt's extension of a decades-old state of emergency, saying new restrictions on its application were merely cosmetic.

Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif earlier asked parliament to renew the emergency law for a further two years, pledging to limit the extraordinary powers it gives authorities to cases of terrorism and narcotics.

"The government has stated repeatedly that it would limit the emergency law's use to narcotics and terrorism. This isn't a new position," HRW's Heba Morayef told AFP in Cairo.

"The government's track record gives little reason for optimism for a shift in attitude," she said.

But the fact the government felt the need to address the issue of the law's application is a "sign that they feel under pressure, knowing that extending the emergency law makes them look bad".

New look, old law

The law which has been in place since the assassination of president Anwar Sadat in 1981, gives police wide powers of arrest, suspends constitutional rights and curbs non-governmental political activity.

Egypt's authorities have used the state of emergency to clamp down on political opponents, including the country's largest opposition movement, the banned Muslim Brotherhood, whose members sit in parliament as independents.

"It's just a new look for the old emergency law," said George Ishak, a senior member of the National Assembly for Change led by ElBaradei, a former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The law "will still be used against the opposition because authorities can accuse any of them of terrorism," he told AFP.

"We have lived under an emergency for 30 years and we want a normal life. If the goal is really to preserve security, there is a criminal code in place for this," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    hrw  |  muslim brotherhood  |  mohamed elbaradei  |  egypt  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Jurassic World trailer is epic!
Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Hot festive offers at kalahari.com!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may feel divided. Conflict between mind and emotions can create tension or indecision. This could lead to stressful feelings...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.