Egypt's interim president, Adly Mansour, issued a decree giving Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi authorization to order the military police to arrest civilians.

According to the daily Al Wasat, which printed the decree published Sunday in the official state bulletin, Mansour extended a series of presidential prerogatives to Beblawi, including the arrest authorization.

The move may be interpreted as another step to increase the repression of demonstrators supporting deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted by the military on July 3.

Since the lifting in May 2012 of the emergency law, which had been in effect in Egypt since 1981 ostensibly to fight terrorism, the police had been the only organization allowed to arrest civilians.

However, on June 13, 2012, the Justice Ministry issued a decree authorizing the military police to arrest civilians for specific common crimes, although a few days later the Supreme Administrative Court in Cairo ordered that measure suspended. EFE