State of emergency: What does it imply?

Ahram Online , Wednesday 14 Aug 2013

The state of emergency declared by Egypt's interim presidenct for a period of one month gives executive powers to restrict freedoms and order adminstrative detentions

The state of emergency declared by the Egyptian presidency on Tuesday, which is to last for one month, brings into effect the emergency laws of 1958.

Egyptians are aware of the effects of emergency laws due to the laws being in effect in Egypt for over 4 decades, used by former presidents to crack down on their political opponents.

The state of emergency was declared after nationwide clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and police which have left over 95 dead nationwide according to official sources.

Emergency laws allow the president to suspend the use of certain civil laws in periods of internal disasters or conflicts, such as the Criminal Procedures Law, allowing him to order the arrest of citizens without court order.

The law also allows the confiscation or suspension of publications, the prohibition of public gatherings, restraining the freedom of movement and enforcing opening and closing times for shops and carrying out forms of surveillance on citizens.

The president also ordered the army to take all necessary measures to preserve security.

Gamal Eid, rights lawyer and director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) told Ahram Online that declaring a state of emergency was required to justify the army's deployment.

Eid says the move gives legal cover for ordering the army to restore security and added that a detailed decree will be issued later stipulating the state of emergency, which is coupled with a curfew.

A state of emergency was in place in Egypt from 1967 to 2012, which was only lifted for a brief period of less than two years in the 1980s.

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