The Shura council has approved the draft law submitted by the government which allows the military to arrest civilians to maintain the security of the state and its vital institutions.
State-run television channels said that the cabinet had approved the draft law before submitting it to the Shura Council.
The law grants military personnel the same powers as those of police officers when it comes to arresting civilians. Civilians arrested as a result of this law will be referred to the relevant civil prosecution offices and tried before civil courts.
The law was proposed by President Morsy, who declared a month-long state of emergency in the governorates of Suez, Port Said and Ismailia, during his televised address to the nation on Sunday.
This comes after these governorates witnessed widespread violence that has left at least 40 people dead and hundreds injured. The violence coincided with protests on Friday marking the second anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, and further escalated on Saturday following the death sentence verdict for the Port Said football massacre, which saw 21 people convicted to death.
Morsy also issued a curfew in the three governorates. The curfew will take place from 9.00pm to 6.00am for a period of 30 days, starting Monday.
The draft law was submitted to the Shura Council on Monday. The council held an evening session to discuss the law, before eventually approving it.
MENA reported that the law would apply until after the upcoming parliamentary election and would give the minister of defence the power to determine the missions and deployment locations of military personnel.
Before the law was approved, General Adel Afify, a member of the Shura Council and head of the Salafi Asala Party, said that he accepted the draft law, and predicted that it would be ratified by the Shura Council due to its necessity to the security of the state.
Referring to Morsy’s state of emergency declaration, Afify, who is also a former assistant to the minister of interior, said he always rejected emergency laws because they lacked any logical reasons; however, he claimed that the current situation requires such a law, arguing that security forces should be strict with violent protesters and armed thugs.
He also affirmed the president’s right to declare a state of emergency, adding that those arrested as a result of the declaration will be referred to the prosecution office for investigations.