Egypt Independent

Armed Forces right to arrest civilians is temporary

A military source said that the power of the Armed Forces to arrest civilians, outlined in a law approved by President Mohamed Morsy on Wednesday, is temporary, lasting until the results of the parliamentary elections are announced.

The new law would gives the defense minister the power to determine the location of the deployment. “The size and numbers of forces that will be handling security has not as yet been specified,” the source told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

“The responsibility of the Armed Forces is limited to supporting the police, and fully coordinating with them to maintain security and protect vital installations in the country for a temporary period ending with the completion of the elections,” he said.

Proposed by the Cabinet on Monday, the law outlining these powers was approved by the Shura Council the same day, and approved by Morsy on Wednesday. According to the law, the military will act as a police force, which means suspects will be referred to a civilian, rather than military, trial.

The Armed Forces were previously given temporary arrest powers during the constitutional referendum in December.

The date of the parliamentary elections has yet to be set.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm