Egypt extends emergency rule

“Egypt’s parliament Tuesday extended the nation’s emergency law, limiting its scope but drawing condemnation from dissidents and human rights groups who say the legislation will not stop police from arresting opposition leaders and democracy activists.

Parliament approved the law while opponents protested outside amid rows of riot police. The government sought to defuse criticism by emphasizing that the measure would cover only terrorism and drug-related crimes. But critics accused authorities of making cosmetic changes to a 29-year-old system that gives police sweeping discretionary powers against political opponents.

‘The new law is very ambiguous and can easily be manipulated,’ said Hafez abu Seada, secretary-general of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. ‘The law still persecutes freedoms like gathering in public, which doesn’t fall under terrorism. We will also still have military tribunals and the government’s right to issue military orders.'”

(Source: Egypt extends emergency rule – latimes.com.)

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