Egypt to stop using emergency law 'soon'

By REUTERS
September 14, 2011 20:32

 
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CAIRO - Egypt intends to stop using emergency laws "as soon as possible" after the controversial powers were reactivated this week following the storming of the Israeli embassy, the information minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

"We hope to end this state as soon as possible, and call on all people to cooperate and not be led into civil strife, especially since we are at a delicate stage in Egypt's history," state news agency MENA quoted Osama Heikal as saying.

The government said it would use the laws to improve security and public order after protesters attacked the building housing the embassy on Friday, causing the Israeli ambassador to flee the country.

Many political activists are worried the laws will be renewed for another six months in October and may hinder the holding of parliamentary elections.

The emergency laws were a key plank in clamping down on political dissent during the 30 years of Hosni Mubarak's rule and expanded the powers of his despised security services. Mubarak was forced out in February after three weeks of protests.

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