Egypt's parliament approves three-month nationwide state of emergency

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Oct 2017

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail vowed that emergency law would not be used to curtail citizens' rights and freedoms

Egyptian parliament
File photo of Egypt's parliament (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's parliament approved during a plenary session Sunday a presidential decree declaring a three-month nationwide state of emergency, the state-run MENA news agency reported.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued the presidential decree 12 October, one day after a previous three-month state of emergency expired.

A state of emergency was first declared in April following suicide bombings in churches in Alexandria and Gharbiya on Palm Sunday that killed 47 worshippers.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail vowed before parliament that the government would not resort to exceptional measures unless required to confront terrorism, and that emergency law would not be used to curtail the rights of citizens or their public freedoms.

"The declaration of the state of emergency at the time being is a necessary procedure, just like the case in established democratic countries that viewed the state of emergency as a necessity to preserve their stability and security," Ismail stated before the plenary session.

According to Article 154 of the Egyptian constitution, a state of emergency cannot exceed six months from its date of declaration. It must also be approved by parliament within seven days.

"I stand before you today in the painful and tough circumstances the country witnessed in the past few days, where several policemen sacrificed their lives confronting terrorist elements who have no religion except blood-shedding," Ismail said referring to the deadly shootout between seurity forces and terrorists on Friday in Egypt’s Western Desert.

Official figures state that 16 policemen were killed and 13 injured in the shootout.

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