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Egypt Parliament Extends State of Emergency

Egypt Parliament Extends State of Emergency

Monday, 14 January, 2019 - 08:30
Riot police in Cairo. Reuters file photo
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat

The Egyptian parliament approved Sunday a three-month extension of a nationwide state of emergency as of January 15.

The parliament last imposed a state of emergency in October 2018, after the government issued a statement in which Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly explained that the extension is necessary due to security challenges facing the country and the importance of fighting terrorist movements targeting Egypt.

Madbouly vowed that the government will resort to taking exceptional measures only in a way that maintain public freedoms and the necessities of national security.

Egypt’s official gazette published the extension decree in its Sunday edition, with Article 2 indicating that military and police authorities will take all the measures necessary to stand up to the threat of terrorism and its sources of funding, preserve security across the country, safeguard public and private property, and protect the lives of citizens.

Egypt first imposed the three-month nationwide state of emergency in April last year, following twin bombings at two churches in Tanta and Alexandria, which killed over 40 persons, most of whom were Coptic Christians.

The parliament also asked shops and stores to install surveillance cameras, in accordance with a number of requirements.

During the discussion of the article, members of the parliament called for restricting surveillance cameras in order to respect personal freedoms, and for “cameras to be placed in visible places” to prevent their misuse.

Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said during the plenary session that shop owners must alert customers that the place is under surveillance so as to protect personal freedoms.

CCTV is considered necessary for security services to monitor the movement of assailants, especially those carrying out terrorist attacks.

In the most recent attack on a church in Nasr city, CCTV captured the face of the suspect who planted an IED, which killed an officer from the explosives unit, just a day before Coptic Christmas celebrations. 

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