Parliament votes to extend state of emergency 3 months following Wahat shootout

The House of Representatives unanimously agreed on a presidential decree that declared a three- month state of emergency starting October 13, at an evening session on Sunday.

House of Representatives’ speaker, Ali Abd al-Aal, stated that the members stood twice to announce their final approval. “None of the members had grounds to reject the declaration for a state of emergency,” he said.

Extending the state of emergency came after 16 police officers and conscripts were killed and another 13 were injured in a security raid on suspected Islamist militants in the western desert late on Friday.

The emergency status was first imposed in April after deadly suicide attacks that targeted two churches located in the Egyptian cities of Alexandria and Tanta. The attacks left approximately 45 people dead.

The presence of state of emergency in Egypt allows authorities to impose security measures against any suspected terrorist without permission from a prosecutor and allows the president to impose censorship on media outlets.

Local and international critics of the government have argued that the emergency law is being used as a pretext by the country’s security apparatuses to further crackdown on non-violent dissent, including non-governmental organizations, secular activists and independent media outlets.

Article 154 from the 2014 constitution grants Sisi the right to extend the emergency period for 90 days following its implementation, as long as this decision receives a two-thirds majority from MPs, who have seven days to review the measure.

Edited Translation from al-Masry al-Youm

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