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Forming ultras groups in Egypt to be punishable by jail

Fri, May. 5, 2017
CAIRO – 5 May 2017: Anyone who forms ultras groups without a permit will be jailed for a term to be decided by a court and fined 50,000-200,000 EGP, according to a draft law expected to be approved by the parliament Sunday.

Members of such groups can be jailed for at least three years and fined 100,000-300,000 EGP if they conduct an activity that expresses their “existence or ideas in any means,” according to the new sports law.

A defendant charged with inciting riots among sports fans can be fined 10,000-100,000 EGP, handed down a prison term, or receive both penalties.
The law also includes articles for charges such as threatening players, selling tickets at the black market, carrying fireworks, flammable materials, drugs, and inciting hatred and discrimination.

Ultras Ahlawy and Ultras White Knights, which follow Cairo’s Al-Ahly and Zamalek football teams, respectively, have long had a rough relationship with the Egyptian police. They ignited many protests in the aftermath of the 2011 upheaval with their anti-police chants, and they were accused of being politically motivated.

Although informal associations, they were been banned by a court ruling in 2015, and their clashes with the police resulted in dozens of arrests and deaths among their young ranks.
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