Egypt’s Parliament is a step closer to making rumor mongering a criminal offense as House of Representatives Speaker Ali Abdel Aal has referred to the general assembly a proposed “anti-rumor law.”
The legislation would introduce prison sentences of between six months and three years and fines of up to 100k for those found guilty of spreading disinformation.
It remains unclear as to when the House will begin discussing the bill, whether it will first be referred to committee for debate, or when it will be put up for a vote.
The three-article bill would set up a cabinet-supervised body to identify, track, and address rumors and disinformation.
The proposed body would be affiliated to the Council of Ministers, and shall include members from the ministry of defense, ministry of interior and ministry of foreign affairs, justice ministry, and ministry of communications, general intelligence, ministry of endowments, Al-Azhar, the Church and the supreme council of journalism.
On the other hand, Abdel Al referred another bill, submitted by MP Ghada Ajami.
In the same session, the House signed off on 49 recommendations from MPs and passed them on to the Madbouly government for consideration.
Many of the recommendations had to do with education and youth development.
They include installing cameras in school classrooms to monitor teacher performance, exempting poor families from tuition fees, and renovating, expanding, or extending funds to youth centers (state-sponsored sporting clubs).