Egypt’s Emergency Law Expires, Protests Continue
Egypt’s emergency law expired Thursday, the Washington Post reported. Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch stated, however, that at least 188 people remain detained who theoretically should be free now that the law has expired. At Thursday’s State Department press briefing Mark Toner said “it’s something that we’ve repeatedly encouraged them to do and it’s certainly in keeping with the timeline that the SCAF has set out for this democratic transition.”
Protests erupted earlier this week in response to the first round of presidential elections, with some demonstrators setting fire to the headquarters of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq. Former presidential candidate Khaled Ali joined the protests, and contended that the election was “neither free or fair.” Another protester referred to the upcoming runoff as a choice “between a religious state and an autocratic state.” On Friday protests continued in Cairo, where various groups have called for a “Disenfranchisement Friday” mobilization against the candidacies of both Morsi and Shafiq and against military rule.
Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute writes that the U.S. should clearly articulate its interests to Egyptians before the runoff election, but should not go so far as to endorse a specific candidate. Satloff asserts that “Washington owes it to the integrity of Egypt’s democratic process as well as to America’s own national interest to be clear with Egyptians, laying out more explicitly how their vote will likely impact Egypt’s most consequential international relationship.”