Friday, September 16, 2011

Egyptians rally in Tahrir Square against return of emergency laws

Amnesty International describes security move as biggest threat to human rights since January revolution

Jack Shenker in Cairo, Friday 16 September 2011

"Egyptians have returned to Tahrir Square to rally against the military junta's reactivation of Mubarak-era emergency laws, and Amnesty International [See post below] has described the move as the biggest threat to human rights in the country since the revolution of 25 January.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which has ruled Egypt since the fall of Hosni Mubarak earlier this year and has promised to hand over to an elected civilian government in November, announced that it was broadening the application of emergency law following clashes at the Israeli embassy in Cairo last Friday.

The suspension of normal civilian rights and the existence of special "security courts" were a hallmark of the Mubarak regime, which maintained a permanent emergency law throughout the former dictator's reign.....

Activists fear the legal clampdown will be used to further stifle popular dissent against military rule. The new military decree extends emergency law to cover a glut of vaguely defined transgressions that could easily be applied to legitimate protest, including "infringing on others' right to work", "impeding the flow of traffic", and "spreading false information in the media"...."

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