Under the assertion of combatting terrorism, Egypt will begin its latest three-month extension of a nationwide state of emergency.
Egypt has been in a state of emergency since last April, when church bombings killed nearly 50 people. Prior to the 2011 uprising, the country had been under emergency rule for over 30 years. Although the president is now permitted only one extension, Sisi has been able to immediately reinstate subsequent states of emergency.
With significantly expanded emergency powers, the state can imprison people indefinitely, restrict public gatherings and limit media freedom. Many charge Sisi’s regime with human rights abuses; it has allegedly imprisoned over 60,000 people since taking power in 2013.
As long as terrorist attacks continue to shake the country, the government has an excuse to renew emergency measures. While Sisi seeks a bid for re-election this March, expect the state to use these conditions to continue its crackdown on protests.
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Taylor provides insight into trade and technology, with a particular focus on North America and the Asia Pacific. He also serves as a copy editor on The Daily Brief.