Egyptian Rights Watchdog Slams Anti-Terrorism Law
Thursday, March 22,2007 00:00
By Ikhwanweb

The state-run National Council for Human Rights rejected the proposed constitutional amendments specially article 179 related to combating terrorism.
 
The National Council for Human Rights, an Egyptian state-funded human rights center, confirmed again on Tuesday that it rejects article 179 related to combating terrorism which is introduced in the constitutional amendments passed by the People’s Assembly on Monday.
 
Dr. Boutros Ghali, the chairman of the council, said during a meeting with members of a program for qualifying US political leaders that the council presented its view regarding the constitutional amendments, in a memo referred to the president and People’s Assembly and Shura Council speakers, in which it shows its outright rejection to article 179, that the judiciary must remain independent and that every stand should be tried in front of his competent judge; the members of the US delegation were eager to be well acquainted with a number of issues, including the government response to and cooperation with the council regarding reinforcing human rights in Egypt, the council’s role in the amendments, the council’s view towards reaching a balance between meeting security considerations and supporting rights and freedoms of citizens, and how to develop the cooperation between the council and the US international organizations concerned with supporting the role of the civil society organizations all over the world; Ghali responded that the cooperation with the equivalent councils and regional and international human rights organizations is a crucial axis in the work of the council as long as they do not affect its independence.   
 
For his part, Ahmed Saif Al-Islam Hamad, a human rights activist and manager of Hesham Mubarak center for human rights told Ikhwanweb that:" All human rights organizations and civil society institutions consensually agree that anti-terrorism article 179 is harmful and it must be canceled or amended.
 
Hamad raised his eyebrows at the Egyptian government’s total ignorance to the demands of the opposition and political powers around the constitutional amendments.
 
The human rights activist cited the Amnesty International report that demanded the Egyptian People’s Assembly to reject these constitutional amendments because they are harmful to the future of freedoms and human rights .
 
Hamad added that:" The proposed constitutional amendments, specially article 88 related to the judicial supervision on the elections and article 179 related to the anti-terrorism law aim at giving more powers to the executive authority and Egyptian security system at the expense of all state bodies.

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