News ID: 213180
Published: 0546 GMT April 14, 2018

Egypt’s President Sisi extends state of emergency for three months

Egypt’s President Sisi extends state of emergency for three months

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (presstv.com)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has announced the extension of a nationwide state of emergency for three months from April, already in place following two deadly church bombings early last year.

The announcement was made in a decree issued in the official gazette on Saturday, presstv.com wrote.

The latest extension was to allow security forces to “take (measures) necessary to confront the dangers and funding of terrorism and safeguard security in all parts of the country,” the official gazette said.

The current state of emergency was first declared in April 2017 after attacks on Coptic Christian churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria claimed at least 45 lives. It was extended in July and again in October then January.

The renewal came against the backdrop of terrorist attacks on Coptic Christians.

Under Egypt’s law, a state of emergency can only be extended once but the country’s president has the power to reinstate it if deemed necessary.

The emergency law will allow police to make arrests and conduct surveillance and seizures more easily. The measure has raised fears among some Egyptians and human rights activists, who see it as a formal return to the pre-2011 police state under the rule of former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

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.

The Velayat Sinai group, which is affiliated with Daesh, has claimed responsibility for most of the assaults. The group has expanded its attacks to target members of Egypt’s Coptic Christian community as well as foreigners visiting the country, prompting Cairo to widen a controversial crackdown, which critics say has mostly targeted dissidents.

   
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