Egypt’s Justice Ministry To Draft Anti-Terrorism Law

Egypt’s Ministry of Justice is due to start discussions with the National Council for Human Rights, as well as other rights groups, to draft an anti-terrorism law “specifying terrorism crimes and penalties facing the perpetrators,” state-owned Al-Ahram daily reported on Wednesday.

The suggested definition of terrorism is “an action that leads to the spread of terror and sense of threat to the lives of citizens and state institutions through the use of violence in both its tangible forms and intangible forms affecting morale… to fulfil aims that harm the security and interests of the country.”

According to the report, suggestions for the new legislation include tight prison sentences for acts of aggression, sabotage and attacks committed against state institutions, public transport, museums, schools, hospitals, private property, police stations and checkpoints.

Penalties gain severity if the act involves the use of weapons and ammunition, possibly reaching execution if it results in the death of civilians or security personnel.

The suggestions stipulate that the law is not to be used against citizens as an oppressive tool and should also guarantee the protection of human rights and freedoms while combating terrorism.

Once the law is drafted it is to be transferred to the cabinet.

The cabinet recently approved a protest law, currently under review by interim president Adly Mansour, which has stirred controversy among political groups who argue it grants the police supplementary power.

Egyptian authorities have arrested hundreds of Islamists, mainly on charges of inciting violence, since the 14 August police dispersal of two Cairo protest camps that demanded the reinstatement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

The forced dispersal, which sparked nationwide violence and left hundreds dead, was carried out after authorities said the protest camps had come to pose a threat to public safety.

Egypt has been under a state of emergency since.

Source : Ahram