Egypt passes bill criminalizing bullying, with minimum sentence of 6 months in prison

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Wednesday approved a draft law amending some provisions of the country’s penal code, including adding a new Article (No. 309B) that provides a legal definition of bullying and sets the sentence for perpetrators at no less than six months in prison.

The amendment comes in light of the growing phenomenon of bullying, which poses a threat to Egyptian society and necessitates the amendment to achieve social justice.

The new article states that bullying is any show of strength or control by the offender, as well as exploitation of the weakness of the victim, or of a situation that the bully believes would offend the victim, such as gender, race, religion, physical descriptions, and health, mental, or social status, with the aim of intimidating, ridiculing or degrading them or of excluding them from a social environment.

The bill sets the punishment of a bully at imprisonment for a period of no less than six months, and a fine that is no less than LE10,000 and no more than LE30,000, or one of these two penalties.

The article also allows for harsher punishment in two cases: if the crime is committed by two or more persons, or if the perpetrator is a family member, one of the victim’s guardians, or someone who has authority over the victim. The penalty in these cases is imprisonment for no less than a year and a fine no less than LE20,000 and no more than LE100,000, or one of these two penalties.

The minimum penalty is doubled if the crime is committed by two or more persons. If the perpetrators commit the crime again, the minimum and maximum punishment limits are doubled.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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