Experts, Politicians Warn of “Terrorism Law” Effects on Egyptian Political Life
Experts, party leaders, and rights activists in Egypt warned of what they called “a conspiracy against the party and political system in Egypt” by means of the “Terrorism Law” being formulated secretly without the advice of political or legal consultants.
This was in the conference held by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights in Pyramiza Hotel under the title, “The Future of the Terrorism Law” where International Law Professor Dr. Abdullah Al-Ash’al affirmed that the Egyptian regime can not live without the Emergency Law nor can it cancel it unless it were in the form of another similar or worse law questioning, “If terrorism is really bothering officials to the extent that they formulate a law for it, then wouldn’t it be better if they tackled the roots of terrorism such as unemployment, soaring prices, and human rights violations.
Al-Ash’al pointed out that the recent combat of terrorism is in essence an item on the American agenda imposed on despotic regimes as a free service to America, and most of all, to serve Israel’s security mentioning that Egypt had given support to Israel under the claim of “combating terrorism.”
Head of Cairo Center for Human Rights Studies Bahiudeen Hasan said that the regime always claimed that the Emergency Law was for the purpose of combating terrorism and drugs. Later it appeared that it was rather being used against the different political forces and currents, to impose military trials on MB leaders such as El-Shater and those with him, and against the farmers and workers requesting their rights.
Hasan affirmed that since the year 1997 organized terrorism had ended and no longer poses a threat for such a law to be formulated pointing out that the powers given to police in the Emergency Law, such as the right to transfer civilians to exceptional trials, are the same in the new law and that the third article which is the essence of the Emergency Law is the same in the new law.
Left Unionist Party Secretary General Abul-Ezz Al-Hariry explained, “All the forces, currents, and sectors of society are in a bad situation; even the General Prosecution is under the control of the political system and can’t take any step independently.” Al-Hariry further questioned rhetorically, “Could Mamduh Ismail (owner of the “death” ferry) have left Egypt without the government’s permission and could the General Prosecution have decided to retry Mamduh Ismail without the government’s permission?”
“There is no official occupation in Egypt, big or small, that can be filled without the permission of the Investigations Bureau and no work permit given or appointment made without the permission of State Security,” Al-Hariry continued questioning, “Is the Egyptian regime honest in its intentions for the new law to protect Egypt from terrorism while it is, in fact, the one who terrorizes the people and is not able to protect them from the bullies, recidivists, killing, drugs, and other crimes that have spread and which security isn’t able to eliminate because of its ongoing confrontations and giving priority to political issues.”
NDP Culturalization official Aliuddin Hilal and Judge Mohamed El-Dakrury, one of those participating in the formulation of the new law, had also attended the conference and both defended the law as usual affirming that it will not harm liberties and political life. However, when asked by El-Shurouk paper, “Will citizens continue to be under security’s control, detained or imprisoned, until judicature look into their case according to the Terrorism Law?,” El-Dakrury refused to reply.