Egypt: Counter-Terrorism Law would Re-Establish Foundations of Police State
CAIRO, 7 November 2013 / PRNewswire Africa / – The undersigned rights organizations call upon the Egyptian cabinet to reject the counter-terrorism bill that was recently presented by the Interior Ministry. We warn that adoption of this bill would serve as the legal basis for the re-establishment of the police state seen in Egypt prior to January 25, 2011, when numerous exceptional policies and laws had given free rein to the security apparatus to violate the rights and freedoms of citizens in the name of “countering terrorism.” We urge the Egyptian government to review the considerations of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism – who requested to be allowed to conduct an official visit to Egypt in 2011 and 2012 without receiving a response from the Egyptian authorities – as the bill in its current form is in blatant contradiction with the relevant recommendations issued by the United Nations. Moreover, the bill represents a major step backwards from the commitments made by the government of Ahmed Nazif before the United Nations on this matter.
The undersigned organizations emphasize that the pattern of resorting to repressive security measures over the past thirty years, coupled with the failure to adopt a coherent set of economic, social, cultural, and media policies to address the root causes of the rise in terrorist activities, led in practice to the inability of the Mubarak regime to genuinely put an end to such terrorist acts. Rather, during the last years of Mubarak’s rule, terrorism spread and the Sinai Peninsula gradually turned into a haven for terrorist and other armed groups. In addition, responsibility for the increased presence of such armed groups in Sinai also lies with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which was in control of the country following the ouster of Mubarak, as well as with the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. The public incitement to violence by some leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood further contributed to the escalation of such armed activities in Sinai and other areas of the country following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.
SOURCE Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies