Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil (R) talks during a session of the upper house of the parliament in Cairo, , June 10, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's Cabinet has approved a draft law proposal carrying increased prison sentences for street crime offences and assaults on police officers.
The draft law, which was submitted to the Shura Council's Legislative and Constitutional Affairs Committee Saturday, assigns the death penalty for those convicted of forming street gangs to assault groups of citizens or resisting policemen with firearms.
The law also includes a new punishment of two years imprisonment and a fine of LE5000 for blocking roads and halting traffic and rail passage intentionally.
Assaulting a policeman with light or live fire would be punishable by three to 10 years instead of six months to two years, with fines ranging from LE20,000 to LE60,000 instead of LE200.
A senior police official told Egypt's state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper that Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim had requested to meet President Mohamed Morsi to present him with the draft proposal.
The Egyptian police has been the target of increased hostility since the January 25 Revolution, which was in part triggered by anger at widespread police brutality.
Police have been relatively absent from the streets since the revolution, leaving a national security vacuum.