Gulf News

Police hunt for 10 ‘dangerous terrorists’

SAYS IT WILL BE A GROSS ERROR TO MODEL NEW ANTI-TERRORISM LAW ON THE US PATRIOT ACT

- BY RAMADAN AL SHERBINI Correspond­ent

Moroccan security forces hunted for 10 possible suicide bombers yesterday, a day after three militants blew themselves up in Casablanca as they were chased by police. “We are searching Casablanca for about 10 extremely dangerous terrorists, as they are ready like those yesterday to blow themselves up,” police said as they released the identities of those who died on Tuesday.

King Mohammad VI said that he deeply believed “the fight against terrorism and its followers is the concern of all”. Moroccans are “deeply attached to their society and their homeland in the face of extremism, terrorism and all that which by nature threatens their faith,” he said in a message.

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A leading human rights body yesterday urged the Egyptian government to ensure that a new anti-terrorism law will not entrench alleged human right violations.

In a report published in Cairo yesterday, Amnesty Internatio­nal accused the Egyptian authoritie­s of having been committing “systematic” abuses of human rights “in the name of national security”.

“Thousands of Egyptians have been locked in the name of security; some have been held without charge or trial for years, often despite court orders for their release, while others have been sentenced after grossly unfair trials,” Hossiba Hadji Sahraoui, the Deputy Director of the organisati­on’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, told a press conference.

As part of constituti­onal amendments endorsed in March, Egypt plans to replace an emergency act, in force since 1981, with an anti-terror law, which opposition says will give police sweeping powers.

Sahraoui said that the Egyptian government had promised to put the anti-terror draft for public debate before its enforcemen­t. “Amnesty Internatio­nal will be invited to this debate,” she added.

In its report, titled Systematic Abuses in the Name of Security, the organisati­on describes what it says arbitrary arrests, prolonged detention without trial, torture and other ill-treatment by security officials.

The report claims that Egypt has been a key desti- nation in the US-led global ‘war on terror’.

“Many Egyptian nationals suspected of terrorism have been transferre­d from abroad by the US, European and Arab government­s despite the risk of torture, and has have been detained and tortured,” says the report distribute­d at the conference.

Fate of suspects unknown

“The fate of some, who were victims of unlawful renditions by the US, remains unknown. Their identities have never been disclosed, nor why they are being held or where."

Sahraoui has demanded the Egyptian authoritie­s to “come clean and disclose the number, names, nationalit­y and current whereabout­s of all terrorism suspects”.

Egyptian officials have repeatedly denied the accusation­s. On March 26, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abul Gaith said that no foreign parties had the right to criticise, review or com- ment on the amendments to the Egyptian Constituti­on.

He was commenting on Amnesty Internatio­nal's statement, which termed Egypt’s constituti­onal changes as the most serious underminin­g of the people's rights in 26 years.

Although no draft of the new anti-terror law has been made public, Egypt has said it has looked at similar legislatio­n in a number of countries, including the US.

“It would be a gross error for Egypt to model its new anti-terrorism law on the US Patriot Act,’ said Curt Goering, a senior Deputy Executive Director of Amnesty Internatio­nal USA. “The Patriot Act is reviled by many in the USA as a fundamenta­l attack on long-cherished freedoms because of the cavalier manner in which it scarified human rights and the rule in the name of security,” he

“I am here today to tell the Egyptian government ‘do not follow the US example’,” Goering told reporters.

 ?? AP ?? Egyptian cleric Osama Hassan Mustafa Nasr, who was allegedly kidnapped by CIA agents in Italy and taken to Egypt where he said he was tortured, sits with western reporters during an Amnesty Internatio­nal press conference in Cairo.
AP Egyptian cleric Osama Hassan Mustafa Nasr, who was allegedly kidnapped by CIA agents in Italy and taken to Egypt where he said he was tortured, sits with western reporters during an Amnesty Internatio­nal press conference in Cairo.

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