Egypt’s cabinet approved on Wednesday draft amendments to the penal code that toughen penalties against those who assault public workers and law enforcement personnel while they are on duty.
Under the amendments, those who insult public workers or law enforcement personnel while on duty by gesture, verbally or by threatening face jail terms of one to two years and/or a fine between EGP 20,000-EGP 50,000 (approx. $1,200-$3,100).
The cabinet said that the previously stipulated penalties against assault on public workers "were no longer sufficient to achieve deterrence".
It added that public workers have become more susceptible to assault while on duty, which it said called for harsher punishments.
Those who assault or resist these workers by force or violence face jail terms of at least one year and a fine ranging between EGP 10,000-EGP 20,000.
If the assault or resistance leads to injury, the assailants face a jail term of no less than two years and a fine of EGP 20,000-EGP 50,000. The penalties are increased to prison terms ranging from three to five years and fines of EGP 50,000-EGP 100,000 if the assault is carried out with a weapon.
Perpetrators could see jail terms ranging from five to seven years if the victim of the assault is a member of law enforcement, teaching staff in schools or universities, public health staff, or transportation workers.
Those who use force or threaten a public worker or law enforcement personnel to interfere with them carrying out their lawful duty face jail terms of up to 10 years, with aggravated conditions resulting in an increased penalty of up to life imprisonment if the assault leads to death.
Those who vandalise or destroy property owned by the state can face prison terms of at least one year and/or a fine ranging between EGP 100,000-EGP200,000.
If the vandalism is committed with “terrorist intent”, the penalties are set at life imprisonment.
Contempt against a court or one of its members during a court session can result in jail terms ranging from five to seven years and a fine ranging between EGP 50,000-EGP 100,000.