Today, the Government of Egypt announced that it is extending the State of Emergency for an additional two years. This extension is regrettable given the pledge made by the government to the Egyptian people in 2005. A broad range of Egyptian voices, including Egypt’s National Council on Human Rights, have called for the elimination of the State of Emergency.
Egyptian Government also announced today that it would restrict the use of the Emergency Authority to certain categories of cases, and pledged once again to work to pass counterterrorism legislation and lift the State of Emergency. Any move to significantly narrow the application of the Emergency Law would be a step forward if it means greater protection of civil liberties for Egyptian citizens in practice. We are confident that Egypt can draft and adopt effective counterterrorism legislation that conforms to international standards for civil liberties and due process. And the United States urges Egypt to complete this legislation on an urgent basis and to rescind the State of Emergency within the coming months.
The United States understands the challenges that terrorism poses to free societies and we believe that effective counterterrorism measures can be based on legal principles that protect the rights of all citizens.