The Egyptian House of Representatives has approved a new law granting the armed forces a greater role in securing and protecting public and vital facilities in the country. The move comes amidst concerns about national security and aims to streamline existing legislation on the matter.
The bill was presented as a constitutional entitlement and in light of the multiplicity of laws that stipulate the protection and security of public and vital facilities in the state.
The aim is to integrate them into a single law that aligns with the tasks of the armed forces in the constitution, which is to protect the state’s fundamental components, to which the constitution has devoted its second chapter.
The bill aims to unify the rules and regulations governing the continued assistance of the armed forces to the police in protecting public and vital facilities, including those that harm the basic needs of society, such as food and other basic commodities, or national security requirements, which are issued by a decision of the President of the Republic.
The bill also subjects all crimes that occur against public and vital facilities and all types of services to military law. It grants officers and non-commissioned officers of the armed forces, who are determined by a decision of the Minister of Defence, the authority of judicial police to enforce the provisions of this law.
Main Provisions of the Law:
Without prejudice to the role of the armed forces in protecting the state’s fundamental components, its security and the integrity of its territory, the people’s gains and rights, the armed forces shall assist the police agencies and coordinate fully with them in securing and protecting public and vital facilities, including electricity towers and networks, gas pipelines, oil fields, railways, roads and bridges, and other public and vital facilities and public property and what falls under its jurisdiction.
Judicial police officers of the armed forces shall cooperate in all procedures prescribed by law for judicial police officers of the police to confront acts or aggressions that are likely to disrupt the work of public and vital facilities in the state or the services they provide, especially crimes that harm the basic needs of society from food and other commodities. All this is done to preserve the state’s fundamental components, the people’s gains and rights, or national security requirements, which are issued by a decision of the President of the Republic or his delegate after taking the opinion of the National Defense Council.
The Minister of Defense shall determine the officers and individuals of the armed forces, their locations, their tasks, and other procedures required by the nature of their work within these public and vital facilities.
Crimes that occur against public and vital facilities and services that are subject to the provisions of this law shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the military judiciary.
Officers and non-commissioned officers of the armed forces who are determined by a decision of the Minister of Defense in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 of this law shall have, each in the area assigned to him, all the powers of judicial police and the related powers and responsibilities prescribed for judicial police officers in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code regarding the performance of their tasks specified in this law.
Law No. 1 of 2013 on the Participation of the Armed Forces in the Tasks of Preserving and Protecting Vital Facilities in the State, and Law No. 136 of 2014 on Securing and Protecting Public and Vital Facilities are hereby repealed.
Any provision that contradicts the provisions of this law is also repealed.
This law shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall be enforced from the day following the date of its publication.
This law shall be stamped with the seal of the State and shall be enforced as one of its laws.
MP Nader Mostafa, Secretary of the Culture, Media and Antiquities Committee in the House of Representatives, a member of the Coordination of Youth Parties and Politicians, confirmed his approval of the draft law on securing and protecting public and vital facilities in the state.
This came during the general session of the House of Representatives headed by Hanafi Gebali, on Sunday, while discussing the report of the joint committee of the Defence and National Security Committee and the Office of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee on the draft law submitted by the government on securing and protecting public and vital facilities in the state.
Mostafa said: “The draft law before us confirms that the representatives of the people will not sit on the sidelines. Egypt today is rising up to defend itself to correct many of the mistakes of a previous precautionary legislation with a precise and accurate step to protect the food of our people and their basic needs and to ensure through it the preservation of our country’s national security.”
He added that the draft law represents a popular demand at a critical time that places the responsibility of this trust by granting some members of the armed forces the status of judicial police and assisting their counterparts from the judicial officers