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Egypt MPs clash with interior minister over emergency law, political prisoners

Parliament's human rights committee disputes Ibrahim Youssef's comments that interior ministry holds no political prisoners, emergency laws remain in place against terrorism and thuggery

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Feb 2012
Mohamed Ibrahim
Minister of interior Mohamed Ibrahim And PM. Minister Kamal El Ganzouri (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Members of parliament's human rights committee have objected to comments made by Interior Minister Ibrahim Youssef on Tuesday that the emergency laws remain in place to fight terrorism and thuggery, and that there are no political prisoners in the interior ministry's custody.

The minister also called for new legislation to fight terrorism and drug trafficking.

The committee's undersecretary, Adel Afify of the Salafist Al-Asala Party, rejected the minister's statement, while the liberal Reform and Development Party's Ahmed Rafaat demanded genuine implementation of the thuggery law to protect citizens.

Independent liberal MP Amr Hamzawy said the committee should discuss laws relating to NGOs and houses of worship, and the release of 10,000 civilians convicted by military courts.

Committee members also demanded legislation against employment discrimination in the police force, army and diplomatic service.

Other demands included compensation for political detainees, the formation of an independent commission to investigate prison conditions, and the right to issue recommendations to the interior minister.

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