Rights groups denounce Terrorist Act

Twenty human rights organizations have requested the Cabinet reject the anti-terrorism bill submitted by the Interior Ministry, describing it as “codifying the pillars of the police state that prevailed before the 25 January revolution.”
The organizations included the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Coalition of Rights of the Child, the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement, and the Human Rights Association for the Assistance of Prisoners.
In a joint statement on Thursday, they said that the bill in its current form contrasts starkly with the recommendations of the United Nations and retracts assurances, such as a precise definition of terrorism and the capitalization on international expertise in this area.
The statement also said that resorting to repressive security measures under former President Mubarak failed to put an end to terrorism and that Sinai has become an outpost for armed terrorist groups.
It also said that the rationale of the draft is not much different from the reasons relied upon by the Mubarak regime in passing his exceptional law No. 97 in 1992, which failed to address terrorism and escalated a systematic repression of political activists and civilians.
The statement warned taking after the Mubarak regime, discarding the rule of law, maintaining repressive security measures, and resorting to more exceptional laws that violate human rights.
It also said that it would have been better to review the incorrect definitions of terrorist acts and crimes mentioned in law No. 97, which allows the suppression of political opposition and freedom of opinion based on definitions like “serious breach of public order,” “risking the safety and security of the community,” “hindering authorities” or “endangering the lives of citizens or their rights and freedoms.”
The statement noted the need to adopt political and legal solutions and review the legal status of thousands of remanded people since the deposing of Morsy based purely on their political affiliations and mere suspicion without incriminating evidence.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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