Egypt approves sweeping new counter-terrorism laws

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has approved sweeping new counter-terrorism laws in order to fight the growing threat posed by Islamic jihadists.

The new laws approved Monday include fast-tracked trials for suspected terrorists in special courts, with sentences up to 10 years; life sentences for financing of terror groups; sentences of five to seven years for inciting violence or creating pro-terror websites; and stiff fines for journalists for misreporting on terror attacks, the BBC reported. 

Human rights groups have criticized the new laws, claiming they go beyond the so-called “emergency laws” that were in place under former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak that led to widespread abuse by security forces. Those laws were suspended following the ouster of Mubarak in 2011. 

El-Sisi vowed new counter-terrorism laws following the assassination of prosecutor general Hisham Barakat in June. 

An ongoing surge of violence led by Sinai Province, an Islamic State-affiliated terror group operating in the Sinai Peninsula, has killed hundreds of Egyptian security personnel over the last few years.

Posted on August 17, 2015 .