Egypt Independent

Update: Shura Council approves law giving military judicial powers

The Shura Council has approved a law granting the Armed Forces the power to arrest civilians in the name of keeping the peace.

The law was proposed by the Cabinet earlier on Monday.

Shura Council MP Nagy al-Shehaby said the country needs the Armed Forces to intervene in order to preserve stability, and protect President Mohamed Morsy's legitimacy.

Former chief of the military judiciary Major General Adel al-Morsy said that with this draft law, the president no longer needed to impose the month-long state of emergency that was issued yesterday for Port Said, Suez and Ismailia.

MP Soby Saleh said the law is needed because the Interior Ministry has instructed its forces not to use arms, so increased security is required to fight against conspiracies against state institutions and attempts to break into governmental buildings.

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.

MSurging violence in several Egyptian governorates has left at least 50 dead since Friday. Cairo and Suez have seen violent clashes between protesters and security forces during demonstrations commemorating the second anniversary of the January 2011 uprising that have turned into anti-Muslim Brotherhood protests. Port Said has witnessed spiralling violence after clashes erupted when 21 defendants in the Port Said football violence trial were sentenced to death.

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

The new law would also give the defense minister the power to determine the location of the deployment, the troops required their exact missions, MENA said.