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Egypt: Anti-Terrorism Law Before People’s Assembly Next June
Egypt: Anti-Terrorism Law Before People’s Assembly Next June
Preparations are underway for drafting an anti-terrorism law based on the notorious constitutional amendments passed last March, 26, revealed parliamentary sources.
Wednesday, April 4,2007 23:06
by Al Saeed Al Abbadi IkhwanWeb

Preparations are underway for drafting an anti-terrorism law based on the notorious constitutional amendments passed last March, 26, revealed parliamentary sources.
 
The Parliamentary sources veiled the most important features of the anti-terrorism bill law that will be drafted according to the new constitutional amendments; the amendment that will be reference to this coming bill is the most controversial among the constitutional amendments due to fears of violating public freedoms and tightening the security grip on the regime"s critics, specially Islamists under the pretext of combating terrorism.
 
The sources confirmed that the bill will be presented at the end of the current parliamentary round, next June, instead of next year, according to earlier statements of Dr. Mofid Shehab, the Minister of Legal Affairs, in seemingly government attempts to reassure the opposition that rejected approving the law .
 
According to Quds Press agency, Dr. Fathi Serour, the People"s Assembly speaker, formed a four-counselor committee that includes Adel Al Shiwi, Mahmoud Kamish, Khaled Serri Siyam – son of the assistant minister of justice - and Dr. Tarek Sorour- son of Dr. Ahmed Fathi Sorour, the People"s Assembly speaker, to lay down a study about the bill .
 
The committee suggested in its study allowing security services to tap all kinds of messages of suspects at orders of the prosecution, and if there is a strong evidence leading to believe that there are preparations for any terrorist operations .
 
The bill demands allocating anti-terrorism police, prosecution and courts provided that they have all guarantees in ordinary judicial bodies, aiming to speed up investigations and trial, according to the bill of the committee.
 
It also bans building any places of worship without with prior notification to the Ministry of Endowments, and it incriminates funding all forms of terrorist operations, and that any person linked to terrorist suspects can"t justify his richness; it also includes procedural rulings without affecting key freedoms prescribed by the constitution.
The new bill considers attacking regional or international organizations in Egypt a terrorist act, like any terrorist act against the country, while activating mechanisms of international anti-terrorism cooperation like  mutual police cooperation and treaties for swapping suspects.
 
The committee suggested authorizing Egyptian courts to sue any terrorist suspect in Egypt and even if these terrorist crimes were committed abroad unless Egypt hands him to the meant country.
 
It suggest also authorizing the police to keep terrorist suspects for longer periods of time before appearing in front of the public prosecution, provided that they are given procedural rights like knowing their crime, notifying their families after a certain period of detention and their right to have periodical medical examination.
 
The committee suggested taking saliva or hair samples for a DNA test if there is sufficient evidence of involvement in terrorist acts provided that there is judicial warrant, and singling terrorism crimes out of allowing lawyers to see the suspect in the first week of provisional detention and authorizing the detention of persons over strong evidence that they are planning to carry out terrorist operations, before committing any action.
 
In turn, the antiterrorism bill law stipulates that the suspect and detainee must have a fair treatment, and that he must be informed why he is detained, and providing protection for witnesses tipping of terrorist operations and not disclosing information related to their identity and their residence, and providing rules for evidences that allow witnesses and experts to give their testimonies in a way that guarantees the safety of these persons like allowing them to give testimonies through video conference and other appropriate means.
 
For his part, lawyer and MP Sobhi Saleh said that the anti-terrorism draft bill confirms that the Egyptian regime is planning to prevent any voice opposing it (the Egyptian regime).
 
Saleh pointed out that many paragraphs of the anti-terrorism bill flagrantly contradict with texts of the Egyptian constitution stipulating full freedoms for citizen in expressing opinions and protecting rights and personal freedoms.
 
Saleh added that the bill neglected defining the meaning of the concept of "terrorism", according to which the provisions of the law will be drafted; this is considered a serious mistake.
 
Saleh pointed out that the study unjustly included establishing mosques and appointing preachers and imams in the law; at first sight of the study, it becomes clear that it is tailored for crimes committed by Muslims without mentioning to any other religions, in a flagrant violation to the rights of citizenship for which the constitution was amended; it was clear also that the study demands violating articles 41, 44 and 45 related to protecting public and private freedoms.


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