U.S. regrets over Egypt's extension of emergency status

10:37, May 12, 2010      

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The United States said Tuesday that it was disappointed by the Egyptian government's decision to extend the state of emergency for two more years, urging the country to complete counterterrorism legislation.

"We call on the Egyptian government to fulfill its pledge to the Egyptian people to replace the Emergency Law with a counterterrorism law that protects the civil liberties and dignity of Egyptian citizens," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

In a statement, Gibbs said that the Emergency Law gives the government extraordinary powers to restrict the rights of Egyptian people.

"The United States understands the challenges that terrorism poses to free societies but believes that effective counterterrorism measures can be based on legal principles that protect the rights of all citizens," said the spokesman.

Egypt's emergency law has been in force since 1981 following the assassination of late President Anwar Sadat by a group named Egyptian Islamic Jihad which violently opposed a peace treaty with Israel.

In 2005, President Hosni Mubarak promised in his electoral platform to end the state of emergency and replace it with a new counterterrorism law. However, the Egyptian government has not reached a consensus on an appropriate balance between the means needed to protect the public and how to guarantee its fundamental rights.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:intern1)

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