Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a presidential decree on Sunday extending the state of emergency across the country for a period of three months starting from 1 am on Friday, January 13.
This is the third time the state of emergency has been renewed since it was imposed for the first time on April 10 after the terrorist attacks on two churches in Tanta and Alexandria. The attacks left approximately 45 people dead.
The emergency state was renewed last July after the approval of the House of Representatives, and the president issued a decree to renew it again in October 13.
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 a crackdown on non-violent dissent, including non-governmental organisations, 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.
The decree, which was published in the official state gazette, is to be implemented after the approval of the House of Representatives by a two-thirds majority.
Under the state of emergency, the president has the right to restrict freedoms of assembly, movement, residency, also the right to monitor messages of any kind, newspapers, leaflets and publications, and all means of advertising before publishing them, and confiscating them, closing the places where they are printed, setting the dates for the opening and closing of public shops, and the evacuation or isolation of some areas.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm