Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi approved a new anti-terrorism law.
The new law, which came weeks after President Sisi vowed harsher laws following the assassination of Egypt’s Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat, sets up new special courts and outlines tough measures against ‘terrorist activity’.
1. The law gives greater legal protection to military and police officers.
2. Under the law, terrorism is defined as “any act that disturbs public order with violence.” The law also allows any case falling under this bracket to be fast-tracked through special courts.
3. Establishing or leading a terrorist group will be punishable by death or a life sentence.
4. Joining a terrorist group will carry up to 10 years imprisonment.
5. Financing a terrorist group will be punishable by a life sentence (25 years in prison).
6. Inciting violence, including on the internet, will result in a five to seven year prison sentence.
7. Journalists contradicting official accounts of militant attacks can be fined between EGP 200,000 (app. $US 26,000) and EGP 500,000 (app. $US 64,000)
8. The legislation was criticized by human rights organisations. Amnesty International expressed concern that the legislation compromises freedom of expression and rights of peaceful assembly and association. The group also criticized the definition of terrorism under the law as excessively broad.