Egypt Extends State of Emergency Laws

May 12, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

An Egyptian protester holds a sign, which reads in Arabic 'My age is 21 years of emergency' as riot policemen stand guard outside the Parliament building in downtown Cairo during a demonstration against th extension of emergency laws in the country organized by the banned Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups on May 11, 2010. (Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)
An Egyptian protester holds a sign, which reads in Arabic 'My age is 21 years of emergency' as riot policemen stand guard outside the Parliament building in downtown Cairo during a demonstration against th extension of emergency laws in the country organized by the banned Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups on May 11, 2010. (Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)
The Egyptian Parliament voted to extend its state of emergency laws for another two years. The laws have been in place and renewed every three years since the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The current extension gives police greater power in cases ostensibly related to terrorism and narcotics.

“The emergency law will not be used to undermine freedoms or infringe upon rights if these two threats are not involved,” said Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif in a speech to Parliament Tuesday, according to a report by Al Jazeera.

The decision was met with strong opposition from human rights groups, foreign governments, and dissidents, who say it violates human rights.

Others argue that narrowing the scope of the laws to just terrorism and narcotics is a step forward.