Group: Egypt must change repressive laws

2012-01-16 17:45

Cairo - An international human rights group is urging Egypt's newly elected parliament to reform laws that it says are used as "tools of repression".

Human Rights Watch says in a lengthy report released on Monday that existing Egyptian laws that restrict freedoms should be changed to become an "instrument that protects Egyptians' rights rather than represses them".

The New York-based group says the current laws have been used to curb free expression, limit association and assembly, and shield an abusive police force from accountability.

It says reforming the laws should top the parliament's agenda when it convenes on January 23.

Egypt's largest Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and its alliance won more than 45% of parliament seats in polls that began on November 28.