Egypt: President and security agencies gain additional powers
The Egyptian president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, has approved 18 amendments to the country's emergency law that allow him and security agencies additional powers. Only five of the amendments are clearly related to public health.
Along with closing schools and universities, quarantining people returning to the country, postpone taxes and utility payments, and provide economic support, additions include expanded powers to ban public and private meetings, protects, celebrations, and other forms of assembly, and allows military prosecutors to investigate incidents.
The government claims these powers are needed to combat the pandemic, but el-Sissi's crackdown on dissent dates back to 2013 and the country's state of emergency was originally invoked in 2017 to combat terrorism and drug trafficking. The new powers can be used in any declared emergency.
Writer: Samy Magdy
Publication: ABC News