Egypt's emergency law has been imposed for nearly three decades by President Mubarak following his coming into power after President Sadat's assassination in 1981.
The law which was recently renewed early May grants the Interior Ministry and security services expansive powers of arbitrary detention and arrest which is constantly abused and it has been used to justify the imprisonment of thousands of people without due process since it came into force
It is on this note that the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), along with the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), filed a claim with the African Union's Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights against Egypt's emergency law. The arbitrary arrests faced by most political opposition mainly the Muslim Brotherhood, violence against citizens and other breaches to the constitution have escalated reaching an all time high.
Under the umbrella of the 'emergency law' The Ministry of Interior has repeatedly ignored court orders mandating detainees arrests including that of MB deputy Engineer Khairat el Shater and his companions who have spent close to 10 years on and off in Mubarak's prisons and were tried in military court despite numerous civilian court acquittals. Shater is currently serving a harsh 7 year sentence and his health has deteriorated accordingly as a result of unsuitable conditions and lack of health care.
The EIPR group has also called for the release of Abdul Rahman El-Sharqawy' who has spent over 14 years behind bars.
The claim argues that Egypt's continued use of the emergency law violates the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, which Egypt signed in 1984