Egyptian government approves extending state of emergency for another three months

June 22, 2017 10:30 pm

A security personnel stands guard in Cairo, , on April 28, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

The Egyptian government has approved a presidential proposal extending a national state of emergency for an additional three months across the North African country.
The cabinet said in a statement on Thursday that Egypt would extend the measure for three months after the government approved President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s proposal to do so.
The state of emergency would have expired at the end of June.
Egyptian lawmakers unanimously approved a three-month state of emergency in April, after attacks claimed by Daesh Takfiri terrorists killed at least 45 people.
The emergency law allows police to make arrests and conduct surveillance more easily.
The law also grants the executive branch’s sweeping powers, allowing it to close companies, shutter media outlets, halt demonstrations and monitor personal communications without judicial approval.
The measure has raised fears among some Egyptians, who see it as a formal return to the pre-2011 police state under the rule of former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
The Arab Network for Human Rights Information had earlier expressed concern over the emergency law, saying it would not achieve security and was intended to “further suppress freedom of opinion, expression and belief, and to crack down on human rights defenders.”
Egypt has been facing violence due to terrorist attacks across the country in the past few years, with Takfiri militants taking advantage of the turmoil after the first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted by the military in July 2013.
Egypt faces a wave of militancy in the restive Sinai Peninsula, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed since 2013.
The militants have also extended their campaign to other parts of Egypt, most recently attacking churches in Cairo and other cities with the loss of dozens of lives.
Also on Thursday, the Interior Ministry said in a statement that police had killed seven people in connection with the violence against Christians. Security forces found militants hiding in a desert training camp.
They attempted to detain the men, who opened fire, it added.
The statement noted that police returned fire and has so far found seven bodies as well as weapons, a motorcycle, and military uniforms.
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