Egypt: Stronger anti-terror push after Cairo bombings rushed, debated

Egypt’s government has passed a new “anti-terrorism” law this Thursday, after three bombs hit Cairo University on Wednesday. The cabinet edited it after the State Council sent over edit recommendations and it is now at the office of the presidency for approval.

Reuters’ Aswat Masriya reports the following on the legislation:

The law intensifies the penalty against crimes of terrorism and introduces new penalties for new crimes, Adel Labib, minister of local development, told Aswat Masriya. The cabinet approved two projects to amend the penal code and the law of criminal procedures in relation to crimes of terrorism.

After yesterday’s bombings, Cairo University’s board of deans decides it is permissible for Cairo or Egypt national security forces to enter campus and provide security. They state they “allow police to be immediately stationed inside the university’s campus,” following months of violent protests and the recent attack.

Egypt’s minister of education also declared police will enter college and university campuses during exam time if it is needed. “The violence is aimed to hinder studies but… we are going on to fight terrorism,” minister Wael El-Degwy said.

The presidency, again, called for international support in fighting against terrorism in Egypt.

“[The international community] must take clear a stance, through full cooperation, to drain the sources of terrorism,” read the statement. […]

“These dark forces are not targeting the guardians of the nation — the army and the police – they are targeting Cairo University and its students,” added the statement.

Egyptian rights groups responded to the recent events by condemning the bombings in Cairo and also criticizing the anti-terrorism efforts by the police. More than five organizations signed on the joint statement, claiming a stronger response to violence could spur further attacks.

On the streets

The 6 April movements, both the 6 April youth and 6 April Democratic Front, put on their planned joint protest today on Thursday. They demanded for the release of prisoners put into jail after last year’s ouster of former president Morsi.

The two movements hope to eventually have a petition hosting 500,000 signatures backing their demand.

Through talks

As Egypt’s economy continues to struggle, Kuwait will be sending LE $3 billion ($1 billion U.S. dollars) in grants to the country. Kuwait has already sent over LE $20.9 billion ($3 billion in U.S. dollars) after Morsi’s ouster last July.

Headlines

A policeman was shot and killed Thursday in northern Sinai’s Rafah. A high school student also died of injuries from Cairo University clashes last week.

Further blackouts are anticipated for at least six hours a day until July. The government claims it is due to the ongoing national fuel shortage.

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