Egypt extends state of emergency for three months

CAIRO: Egypt’s parliament voted on Sunday to extend a state of emergency
in the country for three months, prolonging the authorities’ ability to
use special powers into 2019.

Egypt first imposed a state of emergency in April 2017 after two church
bombings killed at least 45 people, and has extended it at three-month
intervals since.

The renewal starting Oct. 15 was published in the official gazette last
week, and required parliamentary approval within seven days.

It allows security forces to “take (measures) necessary to confront the
dangers and funding of terrorism and safeguard security in all parts of
the country,” the gazette said.

The state of emergency grants the authorities sweeping powers, allowing
them to make arrests and crack down on what they call enemies of the

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly told parliament ahead of Sunday’s vote
that national security needed to be balanced with the protection of
public freedoms.

Egypt’s security forces have been fighting a militant insurgency
concentrated in North Sinai, and launched a major operation in the
remote region in February.

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