Egypt's Sisi signs law defining 'terrorist entities'

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Feb 2015

The law is applied to individuals or entities even if their acts are directed against foreign countries

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has issued a new law that gives a broad definition of "terrorist entities", part of a sustained government campaign to fight terrorism, the government's official bulletin announced on Tuesday.

The law defines terrorist entities as groups or organisations that "through any means inside or outside the country, seek to call for the disabling of laws, or prevent state institutions or public authorities from functioning, or seek to attack the personal liberty of citizens, or other freedoms and rights granted [to citizens] by the law and constitution, or to harm national unity or social peace."

The new law will also apply to those individuals or entities who seek to carry out these acts against countries other than Egypt.

The general prosecution, according to the law, will create a "terrorist entities list" for those groups classified as such by court verdicts.

Prosecutors will also create a list of individual terrorists based on rulings under the law.

The law was approved by Egypt's cabinet in November and passed to the president for ratification.

El-Sisi has held legislative powers since his election to the presidency in June 2014 due to the absence of an elected parliament.

In the last two years the Egyptian courts have designated a number of organisations as terrorist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, the Islamic State group, and Palestinian Hamas's military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades.  

In April 2014, the government increased penalties for terrorist acts in the existing penal code.

Egypt has been battling a decade-long militant insurgency in North Sinai that has spiked since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Militants have also attacked army and police personnel and buildings across the country leaving hundreds dead.


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