The cabinet approved on Wednesday a draft law detailing the offences necessary for a group or organisation to be labelled a “terrorist entity”.
The draft law, which has now been handed to the presidency for consideration, would ensure that any group “practicing or intending to advocate by any means to disturb public order or endanger the safety of the community and its interests or risk its security or harm national unity”, according to Article 1 of the draft law, published by state owned Al-Ahram.
The first article of the draft law also stipulates that a group can also be listed as a terror organisation if it carries out or endorses “damage to the environment or natural materials”, or affects “telecommunications or land, air and sea transportation”, including the public transportation system. A group could also be listed as a “terrorist entity” if it “occupies public or private buildings, and public facilities”. The law also gives the same status for “houses of worship, government buildings, hospitals, scientific institutions and diplomatic and consular missions, or regional and international organisations and bodies in Egypt”.
Article 2 of the law stipulates that the Prosecutor General has the power to create the list and “insert the entities provided for in Article 1” of the law and pass it to the Cairo Court of Appeals to consider the listing. The court would convene once a year to consider the cases.
If the court does not approve the Prosecutor General’s request for three years then the prosecutor can request the court to consider it one more time or the group is removed from the “terrorist entities” list.
Under the draft law the prosecutor can also list the names of the leaders, founders, members or participants of the group. This can also extend to people who provide “information or support in any way” to the listed group.
Groups and individuals can appeal their listing through the Court of Cassation within 60 days of being listed. The court must consider the appeal within seven days of filing.
The authorities would be obligated by the draft law to “notify the concerned” about the people and entities listed, as well as taking the “necessary measures to arrest them both domestically and abroad” and “bring to justice the concerned parties”.
The draft law would also allow for “ending the activities” of the concerned group, as well as the “closure of its assigned places and the prohibition of its meetings and the participation of individuals in any of it in any way, and the prohibition of financing or raising money or things of that entity”. The assets of the group would also be frozen, and the group would be “temporarily deprived of the exercise of political rights”.
The names of the groups and individuals must be handed to countries party to anti-terrorism conventions, as per Article 10 of the law.
The draft law must be considered by the president, as per Article 156 of the constitution, which states that the president has the power to issue laws by decree “that have the force of law” and these decrees must be “discussed and approved” by the House of Representatives “within 15 days from the date the new House convenes”.