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Prime Minister Essam Sharaf on Tuesday defended a decision by Egypt’s ruling military council to expand the scope of the notorious Emergency Law.
In a statement made to the press, Sharaf said the broadening of the Emergency Law is intended to protect the revolution against “people who want to harm the revolution, and outsiders.” He said the law would be abolished as soon as possible.
Policemen are gradually returning to the streets, but need people’s support to fulfill their roles, Sharaf added.
Sharaf also denied claims that the government is biased in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, saying such allegations only hamper the work of the cabinet's ministers.
The government is working to achieve the goals of the revolution by conducting clean elections, he said.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) announced last week it would be extending the duration of the Emergency Law - which was routinely used by ex-president Hosni Mubarak’s regime to suppress freedoms - to June 2012.
The SCAF added the publication of false information, blocking roads and thuggery to crimes punishable under the law.
Rights activists, politicians and legal experts have severely criticized the SCAF's decision, considering it a major setback to reform efforts and a return to Mubarak-era policies.
Translated from the Arabic Edition