Egypt’s Cabinet has proposed an amendment to the law that regulates conditions for the withdrawal of citizenships to include those convicted of crimes against the state security, according to a government statement issued this week.
The proposed amendment will allow citizens to be stripped of their citizenship if they are a member of an illegal group either in Egypt or abroad that is seen as undermining the state’s political, social or economic order.
The current law allows the withdrawal of citizenship if acquired through fraudulent means but the amendment will create further ways for the government to crackdown on those they deem to be high-risk to the country’s security.
The new amendment will need to be approved by parliament and then the president before it is canonised.
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The law has enabled Egyptian authorities to strip countless citizens of their citizenship since 2013 when democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power in a military coup led by current President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Since taking office, Al-Sisi has mounted a crackdown on anyone he deems to be a threat to his presidency and sworn in laws that affects media organisations, journalists and NGO’s who often have their accounts scrutinised for foreign funding.
Critics of the proposed amendments believe they will be used to further attack now outlawed peaceful opposition groups including the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi was a member, in an effort to ensure Al-Sisi’s survival as president.