Egypt Imposes Imprisonment and Fines for Publishing or Circulating Badges or Signs of Groups Declared ‘Terrorist’ by Regime

The Egyptian government has agreed on a bill for amending some provisions of the Penal Code. The draft law states the imposition of prison sentences and fines on those who acquire or import publications carrying symbols related to “terrorist” groups.

According to an official statement, the Egyptian cabinet “has approved a bill for amending some provisions of the Penal Code, by adding a new article that states imposition of imprisonment and payment of a fine not less than ten thousand pounds and not more than thirty thousand pounds (about $ 3,000) or either one of them, on those who  post, make, promote, release, export, import, transport  inside or outside the country, possesses with the intention of trading  or distributing, paste, present, or publish badges, posters, signs, drawings, photographs or symbols that point to terrorist groups  or entities operating inside or outside the country.”

It is scheduled to present this amendment to the parliament for its final approval as stated by the Egyptian Constitution. The bill didn’t specify an accurate definition of the “terrorist groups”, but left it as an open and broad term. However, the current Egyptian authorities had considered the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terrorist group” in December 2013. It also included active armed groups in Sinai in its “terrorist groups” list, including “Agnad Masr and “Sinai Province “which had pledged allegiance to the “Islamic State” (Daesh).

The Egyptian authorities arrested many opponents for raising Rabaa sign in reference to Rabaa sit-in, where supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected civilian president, gathered in protest against the military coup on July 4, 2013. Rabaa square sit-in was brutally dispersed by the Egyptian security forces, killing over one 1,000 protesters on August 14, 2013.