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Egypt: Draft Law Enhancing Punishment for the Crime of Torture Approved

(May 10, 2012) On May 7, 2012, the Legislative Committee of Egypt’s People’s Assembly approved the amendment of specific provisions on the crime of torture in the country’s penal law. The amendment increases the punishment of public officials who are convicted of committing an act of torture from one year of imprisonment and a fine of 200 Egyptian pounds (about $US50) to a five-year prison sentence. Under the amendment, individuals convicted of assisting in or facilitating commission of the crime of torture are now also subject to punishment.

According to a statement issued by the Assistant Minister of Justice for Legislative Affairs, the Law of Criminal Procedure addresses the crime of using torture as a means of extracting forced confessions from criminal suspects. (Legislative Committee Approves a Bill Punishing Enablers in Crimes of Torture [in Arabic], AL YOUM 7 (May 7, 2012).)