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Egypt approves draft bill enabling employers to sack Muslim Brotherhood affiliates

June 30, 2021 at 10:59 am

Egyptian protesters stand in the burnt headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Moqattam district of Cairo on July 1, 2013 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt’s parliament has approved a draft bill which will enable employers to dismiss government employees who belong to a terror group, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The proposal was drafted and submitted by MP Ali Badr and applies to employees working in government ministries, local council units, public sector companies, public organisations, and other governmental authorities, reports Egyptian Streets.

Most parliamentarians agreed that the bill does not contradict the constitution and works to “protect national security.”

Not long after the 2013 coup the Egyptian government outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood and classed it as terrorist organsiation. Opponents of the regime are regularly accused of charges such as “funding terror groups” or “aiding terrorist activities.”

Even people who were outspoken critics of the Brotherhood or people of another religion have been detained under these charges.

Thousands have been imprisoned, often on remand, and are systematically tortured. The use of the death penalty has soared in Egypt since 2013.

READ: Egypt activist Alaa Abdelfattah calls on Egypt’s judiciary to step down

Earlier this month 12 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including senior members and four young men who were stopped at an army checkpoint, had the death sentence against them upheld in a final decision that cannot be appealed.

Deputy of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Maha Abdel Nasser, warned that the draft law would be “a sword and a tool for revenge.”

Others on social media have accused the government of diverting the public’s attention from the country’s real crisis, which is its failure to secure Egypt’s rights in the ongoing Renaissance Dam negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan.

The bill follows Egypt’s Transport Minister Kamel Al-Wazir’s comments to parliament in April that at least 162 Railway Authority employees were affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Al-Wazir argued that these employees had undermined the authority’s work several times and that the law should be changed to help dismiss “forces of darkness and evil.”

Pressure has grown on Al-Wazir himself, from the public, to stand down following a string of deadly accidents on Egypt’s railways including a crash in March which killed 30 people.

At the time Al-Wazir blamed junior employees who he accused of being high on drugs, but critics have consistently said that the government’s failure to invest in dilapidated railway tracks is the cause of these accidents.