Egypt’s sweeping new counterterrorism law erodes basic rights and defines terrorism so broadly that it could encompass civil disobedience and be used to stifle dissent, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday in a scathing report.
The New York-based group says the law, passed by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi last weekend, gives prosecutors greater power to detain
suspects without judicial review and order wide-ranging and potentially indefinite surveillance of terror suspects without a court order. “Egypt’s president has taken a big step toward enshrining a permanent state of emergency as the law of the land,” said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The government has equipped itself with even greater powers to continue stamping out its critics and opponents under its vague and ever-expanding war on terrorism.”