Egypt to pass new anti-terrorism law
Ibrahim Mahlab, Egypt's Prime Minister - YOUM7/Ahmed Ramdan

CAIRO: The Egyptian cabinet officially approved a new anti-terrorism law Thursday and submitted it to the presidency for ratification, Youm7 reported.

A high-level ministerial meeting to discuss the ratification of a new anti-terrorism law was held Thursday, the day after a triple exposion at Cairo University killed at least one senior policeman. The meeting included the prime minister and ministers of defense and interior.

“The international community must take clear a stance, through full cooperation, to drain the sources of terrorism,” said a statement issued by the presidency Thursday, according to Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper.

A judicial source told online portal akheralanbaa that Thursday’s cabinet meeting discussed a new law “allowing for the formation of exceptional courts to deal with terrorism and national security issues.

The source added that the State Council “referred its observations regarding the law to the cabinet on Wednesday.” The State Council is the body tasked with revising and giving an opinion on the legality of the proposed articles.

The State Council voiced its concern over articles that legalize the formation of exceptional courts that contradict the constitution, the source added.

The law was first considered in early October, amid a series of assaults on security forces and assassination attempts of senior policemen, including the minister of interior. In November, an anti-terror draft law was prepared by the Ministry of Interior and submitted to the Ministry of Justice for revision.

On Nov. 7, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights issued a report signed by over 20 human rights organization condemning the draft law.

“Human rights organizations warn that the new counter-terrorism law would re-establish the foundations of a police state and intensify violence and terrorism,” the statement read.

A November 2013 survey conducted by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (BASEERA) revealed that 62 percent of Egyptians approve of an anti-terrorism act, while 57 percent agree to another draft law dealing with political demonstrations.

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