Dakahlia to jail students for a year for ‘insulting’ Egyptian flag
Egypt’s flag - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: According to a new directive issued by Dakahlia governorate authorities, any school student found “insulting the Egyptian flag, or moving or walking during the morning flag salute,” could be subjected to a year in prison and a 30,000 EGP ($4,200) fine.

Media reports quoted a Thursday bulletin issued by the Dakahlia Education Directorate as outlining the new rule. According to the directorate’s release, the decision will be applied in all schools in the Dakahlia governorate.

“This decision will be generalized and applied strictly, and whoever violates it will be subjected to legal questioning as stipulated in the law,” read the bulletin.

The directive echoes a presidential decree issued in June 2014 by the interim Cabinet making it illegal to disrespect the nation’s flag or national anthem, and imposing the same punishment.

Al-Watan newspaper reported that punishments may also apply to those who “raise, present or circulate the flag if it is damaged or consumed or in paled colors or in any inappropriate manner.”

It further added that people should stand up in respect when the national anthem is played.

No reaction has been reported so far by the Ministry of Education or the national government commenting on the Dakahlia decision, and whether it will be adopted by the rest of the governorates.

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