Egypt court annuls decree allowing military to arrest civilians

Ahram Online, Tuesday 26 Jun 2012

Controversial decree allowing military police to arrest civilians has been deemed null by court

The Supreme Administrative Court has ruled on Tuesday against the Ministry of Justice issued decree allowing military police and intelligence the right to arrest civilians.

Rights lawyer Khaled Ali, who filed the appeal against the law, confirmed to Ahram Online from the court that the ruling was in his favour.

The justice ministry issued a decree on 13 June giving military personnel the right to arrest civilians, a right previously reserved for police officers.

Crimes to which the law will apply include "crimes and misdemeanours harmful to the government," "possession/use of explosives," "resisting orders issued by those in power or assaulting them," "destruction of public property or historic monuments," "obstructing traffic," "strike-actions at institutions that serve the public interest or assaulting the right to work," and "intimidation and thuggery.”

The decree was reportedly based on the Military Judiciary Law 25 of 1966. According to the ministry, the decree will remain in effect until a new constitution is drafted. The decree has been condemned by both activists and Rights organisations.

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