Minister of Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ibrahim El-Heneidi revealed details of an anti-terrorism draft law featuring prison penalties for terrorism-related cyber activities and the death penalty for funding terrorist groups.
The draft law was submitted to the State Council’s Higher Committee for Legislation Reform pending revision while copies were sent to the ministries of Interior and Defence for consultation, state media reported.
The articles revealed by El-Heneidi Sunday feature one outlining a five-year prison sentence for building or using a website with the purpose of promoting terrorist ideas and actions, transmitting delusional content to the official authorities or exchanging messages and orders of terrorist groups.
Funding terrorism was also a major focus of the new draft law, as it sets a sentence of life imprisonment on the crime of funding a terrorist. It also sets the death penalty for funding terrorist groups. Whoever establishes, leads or organises a terrorist group will be sentenced to either life imprisonment or handed a death sentence.
The draft law was presented on Wednesday before the cabinet which opted to delay approving the law until the State Council’s committee review it.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi approved in February the terrorist entities law, detailing offences necessary for a group or organisation to be labelled a “terrorist entity”.
The new draft law is considered a response to criticism to the entities law that did not properly define the crime of terrorism, as the first article of the new law includes definitions of terrorism and terrorist crime.
Since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, the Egyptian state has been engaged in what it describes as a “war on terror”. Numerous individuals have been sentenced for “terrorist activities” and several organisations, most prominently Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, have received terrorist designations.