President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decree on Thursday in the official gazette regarding police and army conduct.
Decree 65/2016 was issued after ratification by the parliament and is related to the Egyptian Armed Forces’ protection of vital and public facilities.
The new amendment extends for the army’s protection of vital and public facilities for five more years, as of October this year. This protection was supposed to be concluded this year according to law 136/2014 which stipulates a two-year term.
The law stipulates that the armed forces, in cooperation with police, should protect vital facilities which include power stations, gas stations, petrol fields, railways, and road networks, among others. These locations are considered military zones during the period of legal military protection.
Following the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in 2013, and increased clashes between Brotherhood supporters and security forces, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decree in October 2014 that referred those accused of crimes against the state’s “vital” facilities to military prosecution.
The decree came under fire, after claims of unconstitutionality. Article 204 of the Constitution pertaining to military trials of civilians, states: “Civilians cannot stand trial before military courts except for crimes that represent a direct assault against military facilities, military barracks, or whatever falls under their authority… or crimes that represent assault against its officers or personnel because of the performance of their duties.”