27 year old State of Emergency in Egypt to be extended

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The 27-year emergency law in Egypt will be extended by ano ther year, a government official said Sunday, indicating that the anti-terror legislation which will replace the decades-long state of emergency law was not ready.

“On Monday the state of emergency will be extended by one year because the Egyptian government has not yet presented the anti-terror law” to parliament, said the official.

Cairo has until 31 May to either remove the controversial emergency law or renew it, although it appears the government is ready to go for the renewal.

The emergency law, which opponents say is a nice way of say “martial law”, was imposed in 1981 by President Hosni Mubarak after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat.

Last week, the state-supported National Council of Human Rights said there was no need for the renewal of the state of emergency law.

“Nothing any longer justifies the extension of the state of emergency, all the more so as Egypt is experiencing a period of stability,” said the head of the council Boutros Boutros Ghali, who served as Egypt’s foreign minister before becoming the United Nations Security General in the 1990s. The government, however, disagrees.

Cairo argues that continued threats of terrorism are real in Egypt and must be dealt with in a swift manner, adding that the emergency law is the best way to deal with terror elements in the North African nation. Panapress.

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