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Article Egypt: New Draft Law to Enhance Penalty for Insulting Public Officials

On February 22, 2024, The Egyptian Cabinet submitted to the parliament a draft law to modify some provisions of the penal code related to the crime of insulting public officials, judges, members of the public prosecution, and those who provide public services.

In its explanatory memorandum submitted to the parliament, the Cabinet noted that some of the penalties prescribed in the penal code for insulting public officials are no longer sufficient to achieve deterrence and that incidents of insulting public officials performing their official duties are on the rise. Accordingly, there is a need to enhance the penalty for this crime.

Content of the Draft Law and Current Penalties Under the Penal Code

In accordance with the proposed amendment of article 133 of Law No. 58 of 1937 on the Penal Code, as amended, whoever by gesture, speech, or threat insulted a public official, police officer, or person entrusted with a public service during the performance of their duties or because of performing their official duties would be punishable by one to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of 20,000 to 50,000 Egyptian pounds (about US$416 to $1,040), or one of the two penalties. The current applicable punishment under the penal code is at least six months’ imprisonment and a fine not exceeding 200 pounds (about US$4.16).

Additionally, the draft law would amend article 133 to punish individuals who insult members of the judiciary during a court hearing with five to seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 pounds (about US$1,040 to $2,080). The current applicable penalty for the crime in the penal code is up to one year in prison or a fine not exceeding 500 pounds (about US$10.40).

Similarly, the draft law would enhance the penalty for the offense of resisting arrest under article 136 of the penal code. It provides that whoever assaulted or resisted by force or violence a police officer during or because of the performance of their official duties would be punishable by at least one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 to 20,000 pounds (about US$208 to $416). At present this offense is punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment or a fine not exceeding 200 pounds. The proposed provision states that if a weapon or a tool were used in assaulting a police officer, the applicable penalty would be further enhanced three to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 pounds. The current punishment under the penal code is an unspecified term of imprisonment whose duration is left to the discretion of the criminal court judge.

The draft law would also enhance the penalty under article 137 of the penal code for injuring a public official. It states that the penalty for an assault on a public official that resulted in their injury would be at least two years’ imprisonment and a fine of 20,000 to 50,000 pounds. The current punishment for this offense is up to two years in prison or a fine not exceeding 200 pounds.

Lastly, the draft law would add a new provision to the penal code to protect faculty in academic institutions, railroad employees, and medical doctors and nurses working in hospitals from any assaults while performing their jobs. The proposed provision states that whoever insulted or assaulted, whether by beating or using any weapons, members of the police, members of the teaching staff in universities, workers in medical facilities, and those who are in charge of public service of railroads or other means of public transportation would be punishable by five to seven years’ imprisonment.

George Sadek, Law Library of Congress
April 10, 2024

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Chicago citation style:

Sadek, George. Egypt: New Draft Law to Enhance Penalty for Insulting Public Officials. 2024. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2024-04-09/egypt-new-draft-law-to-enhance-penalty-for-insulting-public-officials/.

APA citation style:

Sadek, G. (2024) Egypt: New Draft Law to Enhance Penalty for Insulting Public Officials. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2024-04-09/egypt-new-draft-law-to-enhance-penalty-for-insulting-public-officials/.

MLA citation style:

Sadek, George. Egypt: New Draft Law to Enhance Penalty for Insulting Public Officials. 2024. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2024-04-09/egypt-new-draft-law-to-enhance-penalty-for-insulting-public-officials/>.