Sisi issues decree widening scope of Egypt security crackdown

Anti-terrorism law gives government more power, likely to raise concern with human rights organizations.

By REUTERS
February 24, 2015 11:34
1 minute read.
Abdul Fattah Sisi

Abdul Fattah Sisi. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

CAIRO - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has signed off on an anti-terrorism law that gives authorities more sweeping powers to ban groups on charges ranging from harming national unity to disrupting public order.

The move, announced in the official Gazette, is likely to increase concern among human rights groups that the government has rolled back on freedoms gained after the 2011 uprising that ended a three-decade autocracy under Hosni Mubarak.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Authorities have cracked down hard on the Islamist, secular and liberal opposition alike since then army chief Sisi toppled elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

According to the government's Gazette, the law enables authorities to act against any individual or group deemed a threat to national security, including people who disrupt public transportation, an apparent reference to protests.

Loose definitions involving threats to national unity may give the police, widely accused of abuses, a green light to crush dissent, human rights groups say.

The Interior Ministry says it investigates all allegations of wrongdoing and is committed to Egypt's democratic transition.

Under the mechanism of the law, public prosecutors ask a criminal court to list suspects as terrorists and start a trial.



Any group designated as terrorist would be dissolved, the law stipulates. It also allows for the freezing of assets belonging to the group, its members and financiers.

Since taking office in 2014, Sisi has identified Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood as a threat to national security.

He has linked the Brotherhood, the region's oldest Islamist grouping, with far more radical groups, including one based in Sinai that supports Islamic State, allegations it denies.

Hundreds of supporters of the Brotherhood, which says it is a peaceful movement, have been killed and thousands arrested in one of the toughest security crackdowns in Egypt's history.

Since Mursi's fall, Sinai-based militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers, and the beheading of up to 21 Egyptians in neighboring Libya prompted Sisi to order airstrikes against militant targets there.

Some Egyptians have overlooked widespread allegations of human rights abuses and backed Sisi for delivering a degree of stability following years of political turmoil triggered by the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

Related Content

Supporters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Tahrir square after presidential election r
July 17, 2018
Egypt to offer citizenship to foreigners for $400,000 deposit

By REUTERS