The new counterterrorism law is Unconstitutional

August 19th, 2015 by Editor

The new counterterrorism law is Unconstitutional

Terrorist attacks threaten the situation in Egypt and targeting not only the army and police officer, but also the ordinary citizen ,Egyptian institution and electrical towers, it is necessary for the Egyptians citizens to be aware of the danger of this phase, and to participate positively in nation-building and maintain it.

There are many terrorist networks working to incite and finance terrorist operations inside Egypt, So that terrorist organizations has become a trans-national, and supported by Intelligence agencies and countries, which requires the development of the Penal Code, in order to fight terrorism which threatens the human rights principles.

In this regard, the legislation should be disciplined in accordance with the Constitution, and in the light of international conventions, that Egypt has ratified, so as to ensure not condemn the innocent under this law.

The Egyptian Organization has been studying the new counterterrorism law, in the light of the article “237” from the Constitution, which obliges the State to fight against terrorism, while maintaining the rights and freedoms.”EOHR” found out that there are many articles that contrary to the Constitution, as follows:

Article (6) of the law States that “any person who incites to commit any terrorist crime will be punished with the same penalty for the full offense whether this incitement directed to a specific person or a specific group or general  incitement publicly or privately Whatever the method used, even if it did not cause any impact.

Also will be punished with the same penalty for the full offense all agreed or helped in any way to commit the offenses referred to in the first paragraph of this article, even if the crime did not occur based on that agreement or such assistance”.

The second paragraph of Article (6) states that the inadmissibility of punishing the accused for the crimes that did not occur, the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled the unconstitutional for articles similar to this article.

Article (35) of the law states that «the punishment by a fine not less than 200 thousand pounds and not exceeding five hundred thousand pounds for any one by any means publish, broadcast, display or promote news or untrue statements about terrorist acts took place inside the country and contrary to the official data released by the Ministry of Defense, and in cases where the offense is committed by a legal person ,the responsible for the actual management of such person shall be punished by the same penalty in the first paragraph, in all cases, the court may prevent the convicted person from practicing his job for a period not exceeding one year if the crime was a breach of the basics of his career ».

“EOHR” believes that the Court right to stop the press from doing his work is contrary to the law of the Journalists Syndicate and it is not permitted to criminalize the publishing of false information as long as the state did not take the initiative to issue a law regulating right to exchange of information, and the fine is very expensive and many of them cant paid, which could finally lead them to the jail.

Article (29) of the new law states that “a penalty of rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than five years for each of the established or use a website for the purpose of promoting the ideas or beliefs that lead to commit terrorist acts”.

This article came spacious and may be used against anyone criticize the government in cyberspace as it represents a serious risk to freedom of opinion and expression, and can be misused against the opinion owners and articles without committing terrorist acts directly, and it’s considered as an opinion trials.

Article (37) included many restrictions on the journalists like the prohibition of residence in a particular place or in a specific area, the prohibition of frequenting certain places, the prohibition of work in certain places or specific activities, and prohibition of use certain means of communication, It means that Article 37 of the law violates the principle of rationality in trials.

In Part II: “procedural provisions” there are many spacious phrases as the concept ” investigation authority ” is a vague phrase came after the public prosecutor and it is supposed that the investigation authority legally authorized to the public prosecutor and the investigation judge only, and Therefore, it was supposed to replace the phrase “investigation authority” to “Investigation Judge” so that the specializations shall be authorized to the public prosecutor and the investigating judge.

Article (53) of the law allows the president of the republic when the risk come from the dangers of terrorist crimes or caused environmental disasters, may issue a decision to take appropriate measures to maintain security and public order, including the evacuation, isolating or impose the curfew of some areas, that the decision involves identifying the applicable zone for a period not exceeding six months.

This article is unconstitutional because it violated the text of the article (154) of the Constitution, which defines emergency cases and the measures that may be taken according to the Emergency Law.

Article (54) states that “the State is obliged to conclude an Insurance contract with insurance companies to cover all risks caused by terrorist crimes which affect any member of the armed forces or the police that fight terrorism, including cases of death or disability, That the company is committed to paying temporary compensation to those affected after the occurrence of danger.

 

We find that this article is containing a discrimination against ordinary citizens and it’s a violation of the Article “53” of the Constitution, which states that: “All citizens are equal before the Law. They are equal in rights, freedoms and general duties, without discrimination based on religion, belief, sex, origin, race, color, language, disability, social class, political or geographic affiliation or any other reason.

The Law has distinguished between the victims of terrorism because the Insurance contract specialized for the soldiers and officers, while the civilian victims of terrorism do not get the similar compensation.

“EOHR” objects to the vague phrases that came in the law , which needs to be adjusted and to be more specific in accordance with the provisions of the Supreme Constitutional Court, which require precise words used in the Penal Code, and it calls for to reconsider the counterterrorism law according to the principle of justice and values of human rights.

“EOHR” will monitor the implementation  of this law through the investigations in the violations that happened because of this law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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