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Egypt: Legislative Attempt to Help Convicted Terrorists

(May 18, 2012) According to an official source in the Egyptian government, a number of Islamist members of Parliament are attempting to pass legislation granting amnesty to people convicted or accused of being involved in terrorist acts. The source added that the purpose of those backing this legislation is to secure the release of about 37 high-ranking members of two extremist Islamic organizations, al-Jamaa al-Islamiah and the Islamic Jihad, who have been convicted and sentenced to death or to life imprisonment or whose cases are pendingtrial. (An Egyptian Government Official to “Asharq al-Awsat”: Islamists Trying to Obtain Amnesty for Convicted Terrorists [in Arabic], ASHARQ AL-AWSAT (May 16, 2012).)

Under article 86 of the Egyptian Penal Code, a terrorist act is “any use of force, violence, threat, or intimidation perpetrated by the actor in carrying out a criminal enterprise individually or collectively for the purpose of disturbing public order or exposing to danger the safety and security of society.” (Penal Code [in Arabic], Law No. 1973-59 (last visited May 17, 2012).)