CAIRO - 26 March 2019: The Egyptian Parliament's legislative committee approved on Monday new amendments to the 2015 Anti-Terrorism Law No. 94, toughening the punishment of those who promote extremist ideology to ten years in prison.
Also, indirect promotion to terrorist acts, extremist ideology, or ideas and beliefs calling for the use of violence will be punishable by at least 15 years in prison, according to the amendments, in case this promotion was made at the places of worship, public places, among the members of the Armed Forces or the police, or in the places allocated for such forces.
MP Gamal al-Sherif objected to the amendments, adding that they can be unconstitutional as they punish individuals for their thoughts and beliefs, an action which violates the freedom of belief.
On the other hand, Ahmed Hussein, a representative of the government, said that the nature of the crime was specified in the new amendments,adding that they do not violate the freedom of belief at all. He also noted that the amendments are consistent with human rights and international conventions.
Earlier in March, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) held a seminar on terrorism and human rights in Egypt on the sidelines of the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council held in Geneva.
In his speech at the 40th session of the UNHR, EOHR Head Hafez Abu Saada discussed the impact of terrorism and extremist thoughts on the freedom of religion in the Middle East.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi stressed in almost all of his speeches addressing the national and international public opinion that fighting terrorism is a human right that needs to be protected.
After the closing ceremony of the League of Arab States – European Union Summit held on February 24-25 in Egypt’s Sharm El-Shiekh, President Sisi spoke about the importance of working together to combat terrorists' attempts to harm countries.
“We must limit the use of technology that terrorist organizations have access to, especially that they use these to recruit new fighters,” Sisi stated.