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Monday, 26 February 2018

Egypt cabinet broadens legislation to strip citizenship from those convicted in crimes against state security

Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 Sep 2017
PM Sherif Ismail
File Photo: Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail (Photo: Reuters)
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The Egyptian cabinet approved on Wednesday an amendment to the law regulating citizenship that allows for the stripping citizenship from individuals who are convicted of membership in groups that aim to harm the country's form of government or undermine the social, political and economic order by force or any other illegal means.

The new article to amend Law 26/1975 also stipulates that citizenship can be stripped from those individuals convicted of crimes related to state security.

The new amendments must be approved by parliament then ratified by the president.

Since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Egyptian courts have convicted hundreds for being members of terrorist organisations, most notably members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, on charges of carrying out or planning deadly attacks against security forces.

In 2015, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ratified a new law that gives a broad definition of "terrorist entities" as part of an ongoing government campaign to fight terrorism. The law defines terrorist entities as groups or organisations that "call to undermine laws, obstruct the functioning of state institutions, seek to attack the personal liberty of citizens... or harm national unity or social peace."

Since 2013, the cabinet has stripped a number of dual nationality citizens of Egyptian citizenship for various violations.

A number of lawsuits are pending in courts to strip the nationality of various well-known figures such as the spiritual leader of the banned Muslim Brotherhood Youssef El-Qaradawy who is in exile in Qatar and has been convicted of inciting terrorism in Egypt, and former 2006 presidential candidate Ayman Nour who resides in Turkey.

However, in 2016, the courts have rejected a lawsuit to strip well-known 25 January activist Wael Ghoneim of his Egyptian citizenship. 

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