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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

House unanimously approves imposing emergency rule, looking into amending arrest powers

The House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor yesterday of imposing a three-month state of emergency, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The measure was proposed by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and approved by Cabinet after the Palm Sunday bombings. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail spoke to MPs before the vote, saying the measure was necessary to efficiently wage war on terror, according to a Cabinet statement. House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal stressed that the state of emergency won’t affect ordinary citizens and will not be extended indefinitely, as was the case during the Mubarak era. It is in place for a specific time and to serve a specific purpose, Abdel Aal said.

MPs edge toward warrantless arrests, allow security forces right to detain suspects without evidence: The House Legislative Committee approved amendments to the Emergency Act that would permit detentions without arrest warrants and allow security forces to detain individuals under suspicion for intending to commit a crime without specific evidence, Mada Masr says. The amendments, proposed by committee member Tharwat Bekheit, are to Article 3 of the 1958 emergency law, Al Shorouk reports. MPs are also proposing the Prosecutor General be tasked with reviewing detention orders and requesting that the Emergency State Security Court extend pre-trial detentions indefinitely. The measures are intended to replace an article that the Supreme Constitutional Court had deemed unconstitutional in 2013. The amendments must be passed on to the Council of State within seven days for review prior to being put to a plenary vote in the House.

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