Egypt’s Sisi Extends State of Emergency Imposed in 2017
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi issued a decree extending the nation’s state of emergency for three months. According to Arab media, the edict reauthorizes the Egyptian military and police to “take necessary measures to confront the dangers and funding of terrorism, safeguard security across the whole country and protect public and private property and citizens.” It is the eighth time that Sisi has prolonged the state of emergency he declared in April 2017, after the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for twin bombings that killed some four dozen predominantly Christian worshipers in northern Egypt. Critics have accused the Egyptian leader of using ongoing security instability – especially in the restive Sinai Peninsula, where an ISIS affiliate has been waging a long insurgency against Cairo – as cover to crack down on political opponents and human rights advocates. In this respect, the decree also reportedly allows authorities to censor the media, prevent public demonstrations and implement curfews. Sisi’s decision comes just days after nearly 90 percent of Egyptians rubber-stamped constitutional amendments in a nationwide referendum that extend his current tenure by two years and permit him to run for a third term in office come 2024.