Egyptian president to sign 'draconian' counter-terrorism law today

The Egyptian security forces will have excessive powers under the new law © Amnesty International
‘This new law will become yet another tool for the authorities to crush all forms of dissent’ - Said Boumedouha
 
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to sign a draconian new counter-terrorism bill into law today which contravenes the Egyptian Constitution and international human rights law, said Amnesty International. 
 
According to Egypt’s Minister of Justice Ahmed El Zend, the president has the law on his desk for final approval today ahead of 14 August, the second anniversary of a police operation to disperse protesters camped in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda squares, an operation which resulted in the killing of more than 600 protesters and mass arbitrary arrests, among other human rights violations. 
 
The draft law vastly expands the Egyptian authorities’ powers that would usually only be invoked during a state of emergency, and it would effectively ban the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.
 
Amnesty sent a memorandum to the President Al-Sisi yesterday urging him to drop the law or fundamentally revise it to bring it into line with the Egyptian Constitution and international human rights law.
 
Amnesty International’s Acting Middle East and North Africa Director Said Boumedouha said: 
 
“This new law will become yet another tool for the authorities to crush all forms of dissent and steamroll over basic human rights.
 
“It is an abomination that will only pave the way for more horrific incidents like Rabaa in the future.
 
“The Egyptian authorities must drop the draft law or fundamentally revise it.”
 

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