Egypt lifts state of emergency, in force since 2017



Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi announced on Monday that he will not renew the state of emergency, established in the country for more than four years as a result of several attacks against Coptic churches.

“Egypt has become, thanks to its great people and its loyal men, an oasis of security and stability in the region”stated al Sisi on his official Facebook page.

“And that is why I have decided to cancel the renewal of the state of emergency throughout the country,” he added.

Decreeed throughout the territory in April 2017, after several attacks claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) against Coptic churches – the main Christian minority in the Middle East – in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria (north), the state of emergency had since been continuously renewed.

Since 2014, it has ruled the Sinai peninsula (east), prey to an armed Islamist insurrection led by a local branch of the IS group. There is also a curfew in place in that region.

The state of emergency considerably expands the powers of the police in the matter of arrests, and may imply restrictions on freedom of movement.

JM

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