Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt: Cabinet to Discuss Law Combating Rape and Torture

Egypt's cabinet said on Monday that it will discuss a proposed act to amend the Penal code, in a meeting scheduled for Wednesday that will be headed by the Prime Minister, Hisham Kandil.

The proposed law is meant to "counter the negative phenomena that emerged after the uprising in which some people finance crime to spread chaos," according to a local newspaper.

The current Criminal Law stipulates life imprisonment to crimes of kidnapping either through deception or coercion. One who commits such a crime coupled with rape is convicted to a death penalty.

The law also instructs that "each incident of assault by force or threat is punishable by hard labor of three to seven years."

The amendments provide a punishment of rigorous imprisonment to each public servant who tortures or orders the torture of a human being, which can be through inflicting physical or psychological pain.

The same punishment goes for whoever instigates torture or is silent about the act despite his ability to stop it. If the victim dies, the penalty of deliberate murder applies.

The amendments include punishing anyone who arrests, imprisons or detains a person without legal basis by imprisonment and a fine of not less than L.E. 10, 000 and not exceeding L.E. 30, 000.

The proposed law also suggests a punishment of imprisonment and a fine no less than L.E. 10, 000 and no more than L.E. 50, 000 for anyone who benefits directly or indirectly from committing any felony or misdemeanor set forth in the law.

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