President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has issued a decree to extend the nationwide ongoing state of emergency for a further three months, effective from Monday, October 26, until January 26 2021. The state of emergency was first implemented in April 2017 after Islamic State (IS) militants targeted Coptic Christian churches in Alexandria and Tanta in twin bombings which left 45 people killed.
Under the emergency decree, the Egyptian security forces and police may take any necessary measures to face the threat of terrorism and its financing, maintain national security to protect its citizens, and to protect public and private properties. The president can restrict freedom of assembly, movement, and residency in the country. Security forces are given additional powers to arrest and detain citizens if deemed a threat to national security. Similarly, censorship is legalized under the decree and the government can monitor and shut down and media outlets and online communications.
Anticipate continued heightened security measures in the medium term, particularly in the capital, in urban centers, and near potential terrorist targets such as Christian places of worship, government buildings, military establishments, and tourist spots.
Those in Egypt should familiarise themselves with the provisions of the state of emergency, including any extraordinary security measures. Continue to monitor developments, and maintain a heightened sense of vigilance, avoid discussion politically sensitive topics in public, and heed any directives issued by local authorities.
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