Egypt extends emergency law as crackdown on protesters continues

[JURIST] The Egyptian parliament on Sunday extended the country's emergency laws [EOHR backgrounder] for two more years in order to allow more time for the government to draft anti-terrorism legislation. The emergency laws, which would have expired in June, were implemented in 1981 in response to the assassination of former President Anwar Sadat [CNN profile] and grant the Egyptian government broad power to arrest anyone who may pose a threat to state security and detain them for renewable 45-day periods. The opposition Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder] has opposed renewal of the emergency laws [press release], saying they have only resulted in disaster in the country, but were unable to overcome the National Democratic Party's majority in parliament. Reuters has more.

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials have arrested and detained [MB press release] 43 Muslim Brotherhood members, 25 of whom were hanging posters in protest of the emergency laws. Brotherhood members said the arrests were made "with excessive force" and were part of an overall "campaign launched by the Egyptian regime against all the political forces and currents demanding political reform." The Brotherhood has also said that Egyptian police beat members with batons during a protest Thursday staged by the group in support of judges who face disciplinary hearings [JURIST report] for alleging fraud in the 2005 parliamentary elections. Egyptian police have thus far refused to comment on the Muslim Brotherhood's allegations. AP has more.



 

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