News

Penalty for “Spreading False News” Amended in Egypt’s Controversial Anti-Terrorism Law

Penalty for “Spreading False News” Amended in Egypt’s Controversial Anti-Terrorism Law

A protester rallies in support of Al Jazeera journalists Abdullah al-Shami and Mohammed Sultan, who were detained by Egyptian authorities, in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo. June 1, 2014. (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
A protester rallies in support of Al Jazeera journalists Abdullah al-Shami and Mohammed Sultan, who were detained by Egyptian authorities, in front of the Press Syndicate in Cairo. June 1, 2014. (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Egypt’s cabinet scrapped off the prison punishment an article of the draft anti-terrorism law which addresses the publishing of “false news or data” which contradict official data on “terrorist operations”, on Wednesday.

The punishment was amended to a fine ranging from 200 thousand to 500 thousand Egyptian pounds for “publishing false news concerning the armed forces, the police or the security apparatuses,” reported the state news agency MENA.

Article 33 of the draft legislation has been the epicentre of criticism since the draft was approved by the cabinet two weeks ago, receiving condemnation from Egypt’s press syndicate and a number of human rights organisations.

The cabinet had said that the anti-terrorism law achieves “swift and just deterrence”, whereas the syndicate criticised it for allowing imprisonment in cases related to publishing.

Cabinet spokesman Hossam Qawish told MENA the article was cancelled after the cabinet discussed amendments to the draft law proposed by the head of the press syndicate and chief editors of Egyptian newspapers.

The amended article was not the only one to receive criticism by the press syndicate, which listed four other articles in the draft law, describing them as “dangerous” and warning that they threaten media and press freedoms.

The draft law has been met with mounting criticism, as rights groups fear that it expands the definition of terrorism and that it will restrict press freedom.

Amnesty International described the law as “repressive” in a statement on Wednesday, saying that in its current form, the law “grants sweeping powers” to the Egyptian president.

The draft law’s approval by the cabinet on July 1 came on a day marred with deadly violence in North Sinai, after militants launched a failed attempt to take over a town, leaving 17 security personnel dead, according to military figures.

The draft law awaits the president’s issuance to come into effect.

A day prior to the incident, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi vowed to amend laws, saying the hand of “prompt justice” is “tied” with laws, but “we will work on amending [them] to achieve justice.”

ISIS-Affiliated Militants Attack Egyptian Naval Boat
Egypt's Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square To Be Named After Assassinated Prosecutor General

Subscribe to our newsletter


News
@AswatMasriya_En

Aswat Masriya is a Thomson Reuters Foundation-sponsored website that covers Egypt's transition to democracy. en.aswatmasriya.com

More in News

Obligatory Anti-Divorce Courses to Begin in Egyptian Universities

Egyptian StreetsJuly 18, 2019

Plastic Bags to Be Banned in Egypt’s Marsa Alam

Egyptian StreetsJuly 16, 2019

Egyptian Authorities Free Trans Woman and LGBT+ Activist After 4 Months in Prison

Egyptian StreetsJuly 16, 2019

Egypt’s National Council for Women Visit Women’s Prisons to Ensure Quality of Care

Egyptian StreetsJuly 15, 2019

Cairo to Begin Planting Gardens on Rooftops

Egyptian StreetsJuly 15, 2019

Egypt Launched ‘Decent Life’ Initiative to Assist People Living in Underprivileged Villages

Egyptian StreetsJuly 14, 2019

Surveillance Cameras Installed After Animal Abuse at Cairo’s Birqash Camel Market

Egyptian StreetsJuly 11, 2019

Pro-Mubarak Facebook Page Admin Arrested for ‘Spreading Fake News’

Egyptian StreetsJuly 11, 2019
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 Egyptian Streets. All Rights Reserved.