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U.S. disappointed by Egypt emergency law
U.S. disappointed by Egypt emergency law
The United States said on Tuesday it was "disappointing" that Egypt extended its emergency law in force since 1981 and urged its parliament to pass a new counter-terrorism law that would replace it.
Tuesday, May 27,2008 22:26
by Sue Pleming Reuters

The United States said on Tuesday it was "disappointing" that Egypt extended its emergency law in force since 1981 and urged its parliament to pass a new counter-terrorism law that would replace it.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had made a re-election campaign promise in 2005 to repeal the state of emergency.

"It"s disappointing that they did decide to extend the state of emergency," McCormack told reporters,

Egypt"s government asked parliament on Monday to extend emergency law for another two years or until the government prepares an anti-terrorism law.

The emergency law, in force since the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat, allows the authorities to hold people without charge for long periods and refer civilians to military courts, where defendants have fewer rights.

McCormack urged Egypt"s government to get the anti-terrorism law passed as soon as possible.

"We would urge them ... to pass a law that, while protecting the Egyptian people, which is an important function of any government, it also allows the ability of people to freely express themselves in public and in private, even if those views are contrary or inconsistent with the policies of the government," he added.


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