Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has approved tougher penalties for divorced men who avoid paying spousal and child support.
Under the amendments to the penal code, men who avoid making the required payments for a period of three months, despite having received a ruling obliging them to pay an alimony to their spouses, relatives, or in-laws, would now face a maximum fine of EGP 5,000 or a jail sentence for up to one year, or both penalties.
Previously, evasion was punishable by a maximum fine of EGP 500, or by a one-year jail term.
Under the changes, which were published in the official gazette on Monday, if another case is brought against the evader later, the custodial sentence will be required.
In addition, those convicted will now be banned from receiving any government services needed for professional services until they pay the outstanding alimony. This may include obtaining commercial licences and issuance or renewal of passports and national identity documents.
The amendments were approved by the parliament last month.