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Carnegie Endowment: Emergency Law

Prepared by: Carnegie Endowment
February 11, 2011


Immediately after Anwar Sadat's assassination on October 6, 1981, his successor Hosni Mubarak placed Egypt under a state of emergency, which remains in effect nearly 29 years later. Under the state of emergency, anyone who is perceived as a threat to national security can be arrested and imprisoned without warrant or trial.  This law has allowed the state to clamp down on any opposition movement and many dissidents languish in Egyptian prisons.  It has greatly increased the powers of the presidency and led to a legacy of police brutality in Egypt.  The state justifies the law as necessary for national security. The major stipulations of the law are as follows:

Article 1

The state may declare a state of emergency whenever security or public safety in Egypt, or in a specific area of Egypt, is threatened by war or an uprising/rebellion that puts people in danger or threatens public safety.


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