Egypt extends emergency rule as response to terrorism
The 25-year-old law is necessary to fight terrorism, say officials. But critics say its purpose is to quell dissent.
Cairo – As countries around the world wrestle with how to balance security and civil liberties, Egypt’s parliament weighed in Sunday with a vote to extend the country’s 25-year-old state of emergency.
Coming a week after terrorist bombings killed at least 18 people in the seaside resort town of Dahab, the two-year extension is “not long when measured against the dangers that threaten us and our future,” said Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.
But critics, who point out that President Hosni Mubarak had said before the bombings that he would extend the law, argue that the law’s main purpose is to quell dissent rather than fight terrorism.