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Egypt extends state of emergency for 11th time since 2017

January 15, 2020 at 11:03 am

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Cairo, Egypt on 2 June 2018 [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]

Amidst the tight security grip, the Egyptian parliament extended on Tuesday the state of emergency across the whole country for 11th time since April 2017, Anadolu news agency has reported.

According to the official Egyptian news agency, Anadolu said that two-thirds of the Egyptian parliament, which consists of 454 MPs, approved the president’s decision to renew the state of emergency for an extra three months, starting from 27 January 2020.

The emergency law stipulates that the armed forces and police are entitled to stand up against what they describe as terrorist dangers, protecting public and private properties, as well as protecting the people.

The Egyptian parliament, which has been accused of being controlled by the army, has never rejected any decision by President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi.

On 10 April 2017, the Egyptian parliament approved imposing a state of emergency for three months in order to fight terror.

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This came in the aftermath of attacks on two churches in the north of the country that killed 45 Copts allegedly by Daesh.

The state of emergency gives the country the power to monitor mass media and communications, expropriate property, expand army and police power, try suspects in exceptional trials and impose curfews.

International rights groups have criticised the authorities and the imposition of the state of emergency, but they claim it does not violate the constitution.

Since August 2013 when Al-Sisi carried out a military coup against the first-ever freely elected President Mohammed Morsi, the country has been suffering from tight security measures and an ailing economy.

Al-Sisi, who was the defence minister during the Morsi era, is supported by the UAE and Saudi Arabia and has been warmly welcomed in the White House and other European capitals despite killing and detaining thousands of Egyptians over their opposition to his coup.