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Calls for a protest against state of emergency extension

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6 April Youth Movement organises protest; Muslim Brotherhood condemns state of emergency extension

 Egyptian troops check IDs at a checkpoint during the curfew hours in Cairo late on August 19, 2013.  (AFP Photo)

Egyptian troops check IDs at a checkpoint during the curfew hours in Cairo late on August 19, 2013.
(AFP Photo)

The 6 April Youth Movement called for a protest against the presidential decree extending the state of emergency on Sunday. .

The protest, due to be held in Talaat Harb Square in downtown Cairo on Monday evening, calls for the release of all those randomly arrested and for stopping military trials for civilians.

6 April spokesman Khaled Al-Masry said that issuing a state of emergency has never prevented terrorism or achieved security. Al-Masry added that the Penal Code is sufficient in maintaining security and holding criminals accountable.

According to 6 April, other political movements expected to join the protest include the Revolutionary Socialists and Misr Al-Hurreya (Free Egypt) Party.

Misr Al-Hurreya Party, led by liberal former Member of Parliament Amr Hamzawy, expressed its concern and reservation regarding the state of emergency extension. In a statement released on Sunday, the party stressed the importance of “not only avoiding violating the emergency law, but also the importance of only resorting to the emergency law in the strictest sense.”

The party stated that it understands the “sensitive security circumstances the state, and especially the Sinai Peninsula, is going through.” Nevertheless, it said that the decision to extend the state of emergency lacked transparency;  the reasons behind taking the decision should have been shared with citizens.

The Muslim Brotherhood also condemned the extension of the state of emergency in a statement released on Sunday. The Brotherhood reminded Egyptians that one of the top demands of the 25 January revolution was to cancel the 30-year long state of emergency, which remained throughout ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s three decades in power.

“Only tyrant rulers who snub their people resort to declaring a state of emergency,” the Muslim Brotherhood’s statement read. “They consider the people their enemies and strive to turn them into slaves without any sovereignty, will, freedom or dignity.”

The Brotherhood claimed in its statement that a state of emergency is only declared in one of three cases: during time of war, the spread of an endemic disease or civil strife, denying that either of the three cases apply to the situation in Egypt.

“A state of emergency is an exceptional circumstance which confiscates freedoms and rights and cancels normal laws,” the statement read. The Brotherhood accused those responsible for extending the state of emergency of not acting in the people’s best interest. It stated that economic circumstances “terribly deteriorated” in one month of imposing a state of emergency.

The state of emergency was extended for another two months on Thursday after it was put in place on 14 August, the same day pro-Mohamed Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda Square were violently dispersed.

Article 27 of the 8 July constitutional declaration stipulates that a state of emergency cannot be declared for more than three months before being put to a public referendum.

Last week, the Minister of Interior survived a suicide car-bomb attack and an improvised explosive was thrown at a police station in Cairo. There are nearly daily attacks on police and military forces in the Sinai Peninsula, which has undergone a marked increase of armed violence since the ouster of Morsi as president on 3 July.


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