FILE-Egyptian Parliament
FILE-Egyptian Parliament

MP submits draft law criminalizing insults against Armed Forces, police

Thu, Mar. 8, 2018
CAIRO – 8 March 2018: Member of Parliament Solaf Darwish submitted a draft law to criminalize acts of defamation against the Armed Forces and police.

During his visit to the city of Alamein on March 1, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that he considers any insult against the security forces as “high treason.”

"If someone insults the army or police they're defaming all Egyptians and that's not freedom of opinion," he said.

Sisi’s comments came after BBC spread fake news about Egypt. The BBC's Orla Guerin alleged in a documentary that security forces were involved in a woman’s enforced disappearance; however, the woman, Zubeida Ibrahim, later denied the claims on Egyptian TV.

Based on that, Darwish submitted a five-article-draft law, criminalizing insults againstthe Armed Forces and police.

The draft law aims to stand united with the police and Armed Forces in the light of Egypt’s war against terrorism.

Hence, Article 1 stipulates that those who publicly insult, publish things to defame or abuse the Armed Forces or police, or incite another person to commit an act or say something against the police and Armed Forces shall be punished with at least three years in prison and a LE 10,000 fine.

The penalty could be doubled by suspending a newspaper that continues to publish fake news to insult the Armed Forces and police.

Anyone who distributes and displays photos that lead to the defamation of both the Armed Forces and police by any means shall be punished with at least five years in jail and a LE 5,000 fine.

Law enforcement officers shall seize writings, photos and any other means to defame the Armed Forces and police, and then refer the crime to the public prosecution. If the public prosecution acknowledges the crimes, it shall file them to the Court of First Instance that shall issue its decree after the hearings. The decree cannot be appealed against.

On March 6, Egyptian officials arrested six people for their involvement in a play that insulted security forces.

The playwright, director and officials at the sports club where the play was staged were arrested and are being investigated by military prosecutors.
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