Sisi ratifies Egypt’s controversial anti-terror law
Steep fines and the risk of suspension from employment could deter journalists and small newspapers from reporting. (AFP/File)
Click here to add Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as an alert
Disable alert for Abdel Fattah al-Sisi,
Click here to add Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as an alert
Disable alert for Abdel Fattah El-Sisi,
Click here to add Mohamed Morsi as an alert
Disable alert for Mohamed Morsi,
Click here to add Muslim Brotherhood Movement as an alert
Disable alert for Muslim Brotherhood Movement
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ratified an anti-terrorism law which stipulates exorbitant fines, and possible suspension from employment, for "false" reporting on militant attacks.
The ratification was announced in the official gazette on Monday.
It sets a minimum fine of 200,000 pounds (about $25,000) and a maximum of 500,000 pounds (about $62,000) for anyone who strays from government statements in publishing or spreading "false" reports on attacks or security operations against militants.
It also lays out the death penalty for those convicted of leading "terrorist groups" or financing attacks.
The law, which was passed on Sunday seeks prison terms for those "inciting, or prepared to incite, directly or indirectly, a terrorist act".
The new law also allows courts to "prevent the convicted from practicing the profession for a period of no more than one year, if the crime violates the principles of the profession."
Critics say the steep fines may shut down smaller newspapers, and deter larger ones from independently reporting on attacks and operations against militants.
Although it did not specifically mention journalism, the law has raised fears that journalists could be put on trial for their reporting at any time the state sees necessary.
Three journalists have already been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for "defaming" the country and supporting the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood movement.
Hundreds of political opponents of the current military-backed government have been sentenced to death in mass trials since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the former army chief, overthrew former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
- Egypt's press syndicate criticises 'dangerous articles' in draft anti-terrorism law
- Sisi braced up for economic summit with new investment law
- Critics slam Egypt’s new anti-terror law
- Israeli Knesset approves controversial 'anti-terrorism' law
- Assad approves new anti-terror laws as opposition meets in Cairo