Egypt parliament passes three-month state of emergency

The Egyptian parliament voted by a majority on Tuesday for imposing a state of emergency declared by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday following two deadly church bombings that killed at least 45.

The state of emergency is now in effect following parliament’s approval.

According to the Egyptian constitution, any state of emergency must be confirmed in parliament by majority vote within seven days of its declaration by the president.

Al-Masry A-Youm quoted Bahaa Abo Shaqa, the head of the Parliament’s Legislative Affairs Committee, as saying that the declaration of a state of emergency is necessary at present because Egypt is in a state of war.

He added that the reason for the committee’s approval to amend the emergency law is to “avoid any suspicion of unconstitutionality in the law.”

The amendment came with the addition of articles 3 BIS and 3 BIS A, to the law, as follows:

Article 3 BIS: “Once a state of emergency is declared, without abidance by provisions of other laws, judicial officers may arrest any person who shows indications that he committed a felony or misdemeanor, inspecting his residence, and all places where any dangerous or explosive materials, weapons or ammunition are suspected to be hidden or possessed, or any proceeds of crime, or any instrument to commit it. After obtaining permission from the Public Prosecution, he may be detained for a period not exceeding seven days to complete the collection of inferences.”

Article 3 BIS A: “At the request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the emergency state security summary courts may detain a person who shows indications of his danger to public security for a renewable period of one month.”