Egypt – President Mohamed Morsi declared a state of emergency and a curfew in three major cities on Sunday, as escalating violence in the streets threatened his government and Egypt’s democracy.
By imposing a one-month state of emergency in Suez, Ismailia and here in Port Said, where the police have lost all control, Mr. Morsi’s declaration chose to use one of the most despised weapons of former President Hosni Mubarak’s autocracy. Under Mubarak-era laws left in effect by the country’s new Constitution, a state of emergency suspends the ordinary judicial process and most civil rights. It gives the president and the police extraordinary powers.
Mr. Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president and a leader of the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, took the step after four days of clashes in Cairo and in cities around the country between the police and protesters denouncing his government. Most of the protests were set off by the second anniversary of the popular revolt that ousted Mr. Mubarak, which fell on Friday.
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