Egypt's PM issues decree referring security and economic crimes to state security emergency courts

Ahram Online , Monday 9 Oct 2017

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail's decree will remain in force so long as Egypt maintains its state of national emergency, which is up for renewal on 10 October

Egypt's PM Sherif Ismael (Reuters)

Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has issued a decree stipulating that several crimes in breach of certain security and economic laws will be referred to state security emergency courts so long as Egypt maintains it national state of emergency.

According to a cabinet statement issued on Sunday, the decree covers breaches of laws on protests, assembly, terrorism and strikes.

The decree also includes the illegal possession of arms and ammunition, the law prohibiting protests in places of worship, and crimes related to thuggery and terror, as listed in the penal code.

Ismail's decision was published in the Official Gazette on Saturday.

The cabinet decision includes economic crimes violating regulations on supply of goods and violations of mandatory pricing rules.

On April 10, a national state of emergency was declared following deadly terror attacks on churches and renewed for a second three-month period in July.

The state of emergency comes up for a further three-month renewal on 10 October, pending a descision from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and approval by parliament.

The decree only applies to new cases and will not be applied retroactively.

However, the state security courts are entitled to continue trying ongoing cases after the state of emergency ends, the decree reads.

Verdicts issued by state security emergency courts cannot be appealed, but they must be ratified by the Egyptian president, who is also entitled to reduce or cancel them.

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