For decades, the US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak controlled the Egyptian people through his State of Emergency laws. These laws enabled Mubarak to ban demonstrations, disperse political meetings, shut down media outlets, and arrest people without charges.
Mubarak may be gone, but his laws are still here.
Egypt’s new military ruler, Field Marshal Muhammad Tantawi, is supposed to be the head of a transitional military government. Unfortunately, he has kept Mubarak’s system of control. Just last weekend, Tantawi’s government renewed the State of Emergency laws for yet another six months.
The old dictatorship may be over, but US taxpayers continue subsidize 25% of Egypt’s military budget. We should not be forced to fund a new military government that keeps anti-democratic laws in place.
Field Marshal Tantawi and his military government are supposed to be “transitional” – a caretaker government that will give way to democratic elections. But since the former dictator Hosni Mubarak was removed from power, the new government has tried some 10,000 Egyptians in military courts.
Click here to tell Egypt’s current military rulers that the Egyptian people deserve freedom – not military control. Tell Field Marshal Tantawi to end the State of Emergency laws and stop trying civilians in military courts.
The Egyptian transitional military government announced that it was renewing the State of Emergency laws after Egyptian protestors surrounded and stormed the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. But this is no justification for perpetuating a former dictator’s system of control. Governments around the world provide security to foreign embassies without resorting to such extremes.
Regardless of whether or not Egypt’s current government maintains diplomatic relations with Israel, the State of Emergency laws must go. The Egyptian people have waited long enough for freedom.