Draft law on terror contradicts Constitution

Mostafa el-Fiqqi, head of the People’s Assembly Foreign Relations Committee, revealed that there is disagreement among members of the committee, which was formed to prepare a new law on terrorism. The disagreement relates to a contradiction between the proposed version of the law and some articles of the Constitution, which, according to el-Fiqqi, necessitate an amendment to the Constitution.

Some believe that overcoming this obstacle requires narrowing the scope of implementation of the law, el-Fiqqi said during a symposium on the future of the National Council for Human Rights, organized by the One World Foundation. Others suggest that reducing the severity of the law would solve the problem, he added. "Sadly, the disagreement hasn’t yet been resolved," he added.

El-Fiqqi, who is a member of the ruling National Democratic Party, criticized the state-founded National Human Rights Council, saying that it had made the mistake of assuming the role of a global human rights guardian, instead of focusing on the status of human rights in Egypt.

Human rights activists also took a swipe at the National Human Rights Council, describing it as a government council there to implement the agenda of the regime, and accusing it of overlooking several human rights issues while, at the same time, interfering in many issues that do not concern it.

Mohamed Zaree, president of the Arab Organization for Penal Reform, said that more than a third of the members of the council are National Democratic Party members, which has undermined the council’s activities. Zaree scoffed at the council’s visits to prisons, which, he said, were fake and prepared in advance, with the reports being a far cry from reality.

He further affirmed that the Council’s reports do not provide anything additional to those prepared by other human rights organizations. The Council’s only contribution, he added, has been to legitimize the demands of human rights organizations that have been working for 20 years to defend human rights. Due to these demands, such organizations were always accused of being financed by, and working for the interests of foreign countries.

Nabil Helmy, a member of the Council, called on human rights organizations to draw up a draft law on terrorism so that the state does not monopolize the process of preparing the law.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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