2 NDP Leaders: MB’s Activities Not Under Anti-Terrorism Law

The Egyptian House Speaker and the minister of parliamentary affairs confirmed that the MB activities aren”t incriminated by the coming anti-terrorism law.
Both Dr. Ahmed Fathi Sorour, the People”s Assembly speaker, and Dr. Mofeed Shehab, the Minister of State for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, both belong to the ruking National Democratic Party (NDP), confirmed that that the anti-terrorism law will never have effect on the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group, and that the MB”s political activities aren”t incriminated by this anti-terrorism law scheduled to drafted by May 2008, the date of the expiry of the emergency laws; this came in a press conference in Al-Gomhuria newspaper HQ after the first session of the first conference of Al-Gomhuria center for anti-terrorism studies .
Asked by journalists about the target of the anti-terrorism law, and whether it aims at curbing the influence and activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr. Mofeed Shehab saidsaid that these are groundless claims and that the law is targeting particularly the terrorist acts that threaten the safety and security of the society, in addition to the actions included in the definition of the terrorist crime, and that all these aren”t applied on the Muslim Brotherhood group although it is outlawed, according to Shehab. He pointed out that if the MB”s political activity violated laws there are other laws to incriminate it like the fifth article that bans carrying out any political activity on a religious basis.
Shehab confirmed that the Muslim Brotherhood”s political activity isn”t incriminated by the anti-terrorism law, unless the group commits any hostilities or acts of violence incriminated by this law .
The same was confirmed by Dr. Fathi Sorour who pointed out that the only solution for this issue is that the group forms a political party to express its ideology, and consequently its activities will become legal; asked by journalists whether the regime will accept a Muslim Brotherhood party, Dr. Sorour declined to comment.
For his part, Hafez Abu Seada, the Secretary-General of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, criticized what both Sorour and Shehab said, confirming that the introducing the amended article 179 to the constitution threatens private and public freedoms prescribed and guaranteed by article 41, 42 and 45 of the constitution; add to this that the emergency law failed to bring to a halt the acts of violence and killings that escalated when it was applied.
Abu Seada pointed out that the last ten years witnessed a sharp drop in terrorist operations and they became very few in a way that does not require constitutionalizing the emergency law through article 179.
For his part, Dr. Hamdi Hassan, the spokesman of the MB parliamentary bloc, said that the statements of both Fathi Sorour and Mofeed Shehab are part of the media propaganda for the new anti-terrorism law.
Hassan pointed out that the coming anti-terrorism law is a natural extension of the notorious emergency law but in an uglier face.
Hassan confirmed that the anti-terrorism law aims at giving a deathblow to any party or opposition activity against the Egyptian regime.
Hassan added that if the Egyptian regime seeks truly real political exercises in Egypt, it should first amend the recently approved articles in the constitution, specially articles 88 and 179.
Hassan said that the new anti-terrorism law will only increases the current political deadlock and serves a certain group that monopolizes power influence in the Egyptian arena.