Saturday, November 29, 2014

Gov't widely expands definition of "terrorism" in new oppressive law

Mada Masr
Cabinet passes “terrorist entities” law

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Egypt’s Cabinet passed a draft law on “terrorist entities” Wednesday night, presented by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The law’s 10 articles focus on defining terrorist entities, placing identified terrorist entities on lists, and stipulating the process of legally appealing these lists.

Article one of the law defines terrorist entities as “any association, organization, group or gang that attempts to, aims to or calls for destabilizing public order; endangers society’s wellbeing or its interests of safety; harms individuals or terrorizes them, or endangers their lives or freedoms or rights or safety; endangers social unity; harms the environment or natural resources or monuments or communications or transportation or funds or buildings or public or private property, or occupies them; obstructs the work of public authorities or the judiciary or government entities or local municipalities or houses of worship or hospitals or scientific institutions or diplomatic missions or international organizations; blocks public or private transportation, or roads; harms national unity or national peacefulness; obstructs the implementation of the constitution or laws or bylaws; uses violence or power or threats or acts of terrorism to achieve one of its goals.”

The second article gives prosecution the right to draw up lists of identified terrorist entities, which includes groups that are officially ruled as terrorist organizations. Prosecution will also be tasked with creating lists of “terrorists” found guilty of running the identified terrorist groups.

The law stipulates that organizations designated as terrorist entities must remain on the lists for three weeks, and if no judicial order is issued to confirm the terrorist nature of these organizations, the prosecution retains the right to extend the period for which these organizations are kept on the lists.

Penalties against designated terrorist entities can include dissolving the organization, suspending its activities, shutting down its headquarters, banning meetings held by its members, halting funding to the organization directly or indirectly, freezing assets owned by the organization or its leaders, banning membership to or promotion of the group, and temporary banning the group from political participation.

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