CAIRO: Changes made to the 29-year old Emergency Law to restrict its application to terrorism and drug-related crimes are not sufficient, rights activist and lawyer Hafez Abu Seada told Daily News Egypt Thursday.
“Based on the constitution and international standards, combating crime is not among the reasons for imposing a state of emergency,” EOHR Secretary General and lawyer Abu Seada argued.
A joint press conference held by the Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession (ACIJLP) and the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) denounced the two-year extension of the Emergency Law, arguing that recent limitations changed nothing in its core.
“This means that all segments of the Egyptian people are subject to (persecution), till a person proves that s/he has no ties with any of these two felonies,” said Nasser Amin lawyer and director of ACIJLP.
According to Abu Seada, only the Egyptian penal code or similar procedural laws should deal with such crimes. “This is the case all over the world.”
In 2005, President Hosni Mubarak promised to lift the emergency law and replace it with an anti-terror law. In 2006, the Prime Minister issued a decree to form a committee to prepare a draft law.
“Since then, this committee released nothing. We see laws issued in one day. But (it seems) that the emergency law has been deliberately delayed so that it can be used in the coming legislative and presidential elections,” Abu Seada noted.
“This is a threat to democracy and political reform,” he added.