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Monday, 1 November 2021

Laws on public security, leakers making their way through the House

Law regulating military jurisdiction over “public and vital facilities” extended indefinitely: The House of Representatives has given final approval to legislation that indefinitely extends powers the military was handed in 2014 over “public and vital” facilities, Ahram Gate reports. The law widens the military’s jurisdiction over a range of infrastructure, including roads, bridges, railways, gas stations and oil fields, and gives it the power to try people accused of breaking the law at these locations in military courts. Passed in 2014, the law was originally intended to remain in place for two years and has been extended since.

People convicted of leaking military secrets now face harsher penalties: Fines handed out to people convicted of leaking state secrets without the government’s consent will rise to EGP 5k-50k, from EGP 100-500 currently under amendments to the Penal Code approved yesterday. This is in addition to prison sentences ranging from six months to five years already included in the legislation. And changes to the terrorism law will now impose fines of between EGP 100k-300k on people who film, record or broadcast terrorism trials without the judge’s permission. Last year the House approved changes to the bill which introduced the death penalty for people convicted of funding terrorist groups, and broadened the definition of what counts as funding terrorism.

The expanded powers come less than a week after the government lifted the state of emergency in place since 2017.

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