Anti-terrorism bill violates 2014 Constitution: NCHR
Egypt's National Council for Human Rights.

CAIRO: Egypt’s anti-terrorism draft law violates the principles of the constitution, said the state-owned National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) in a statement Wednesday.

“We were not consulted on the draft …under the 2014 Constitution, the council’s remarks on any draft law related to human rights should be considered,” the statement said, adding that all the details of the proposed bill have been reported by media outlets.

The NCHR said the law, if ratified should be temporary.

On July 3, Egypt’s Cabinet has approved the law, hereby litigation period of terrorism-related crimes will shrink while bank accounts of suspects can be disclosed. The bill is waiting for President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s ratification to come into force.

The bill sparked journalists’ reservations as it stipulates a minimum of a two-year sentence for those who report false news or information about any “terrorist attacks” that contradict official statements.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab met Wednesday with Journalists’ Syndicate chairman Yehia Qallash and a group of journalists to discuss the law.

“The law does not target the journalists and we will not allow imprisonment of any journalist,” Mahlab said during the meeting.

The law has been drafted after the assassination of late Attorney-General Hisham Barakat on July 1. President Sisi has called for amending the Penal Code to expedite the application of death penalties and life sentences, saying “justice is enchained by the laws.”

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