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Inside Story
Egypt's emergency law
Has the state of emergency in Egypt turned the country into a police state?
Last Modified: 28 May 2008 13:38 GMT

Will the emergency law ever be abolished during
Mubarak's liketime?  [EPA]
Egyptian parliament approved a request by the government to extend the country's emergency law, in place for the last 27 years. The extension comes despite promises made in 2005 by President Hosni Mubarak to abolish this law.

The emergency law gives the Egyptian government broad powers to arrest and detain suspects without charges, refer civilians to military courts, close dissident publications and thwart demonstrations.

It was introduced after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat during a military parade in 1981 and has been renewed every two years since.

In 2005 Mubarak promised to pass an anti-terror act to replace the emergency law. The act, obviously, has not been passed and the Egyptian government has used that fact to extend the emergency law.

But has this law served Egypt in its own "War on terror"?  Will it be ever abolished during Mubarak's lifetime?

Inside Story, with presenter Imran Garda, discusses.

Watch part one of this episode of Inside Story

Watch part two of this episode of Inside Story

This episode of Inside Story aired on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 17:30 GMT


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