National Front Campaigns to End Emergency Law
|Tuesday, March 14,2006 00:00|
|By El-Said Ramadan|
The National Front for Change, which includes the main opposition powers, held a press conference to launch its campaign to end emergency laws
In his address, the Front’s Chief Aziz Sedqy, said Egypt has been plunged into a state of emergency since the assassination of the late president Anwar El-Sadat in 1981. Emergency laws are normally imposed for a week or a month, but not for 25 years, he stated. Egypt is not in a state of war to justify the continuation of emergency laws.
In his electoral platform, President Mubark committed to abolish emergency law to be replaced by " terrorism bill". However, we oppose turning emergency law into an ordinary one and appeal to the president to call it to an immediate halt and not to pass alternative legislations, Mr. Sedqy stated
The press conference was attended by dozens of influential politicians, such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Chairman Mr. Mohamed Akef, Essam Al-Erian, and Mohamed Morsy.
"The conference will initiate a wave of proceedings arranged by the Front to resist extension of the emergency laws. A committee will be set up to organize assorted proceedings; symposiums, conferences, and marches. A massive conference in the Bar Association is already under way. Events will be arranged nationwide to pressure the regime to end the state of emergency" Mohamed Ali, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Council told Ikhwan Web
This campaign precedes the renewal date of the law in May. According to the Front’s sources, the campaign has four dimensions:
1- Launching a large-scale media campaign to indicate the adverse impacts of the law continuation.
2- The Front’s MPs will activate parliamentary action to draw the law to an end .
3- Coordination among movements, associations, parties, and human right organizations.
4- Fostering the national will to end the law via nationwide conferences, demonstrations, and signing petitions.
The account added Egypt has suffered from the negative repercussions of the emergency law which should not be applicable except in wars, disasters, and extraordinary circumstances. Contrary to government allegation the emergency law does not provid Egypt with stability or security, nevertheless, it breaches public and private liberties, for example:
- By the virtue of this law, the president, the ruling party in turn, is authorized to expand powers of the martial ruler. More dangerously, these authorities are given to the Interior Minister who exercises control over people’s will via detention, ban of assemblies, suspension of newspapers, and confiscation of properties…etc
- Interior Minster’s powers curb the action of political parties preventing real transfer of power. Parties are not allowed to arrange rallies or contact freely with supporters. Under this law, representatives of candidates inside polling stations can be put under arrest at any time.
Thanks to emergency law, human rights are violated by torture in police stations and jails. The account pointed out that reported cases of torture are not mere individual instances; torture turns into a deliberate policy by police which contradicts values, constitution, and international accords. Police often tortur detainees and prisoners in order to sign documents clearing them from any liability in return for being released.