World

Egyptian president signs into effect new anti-terrorism law, amid criticism from rights groups

  • FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2015 file photo, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi waves as he arrives to the opening ceremony of the new section of the Suez Canal in Ismailia, Egypt. A new 54-article anti-terrorism bill signed into law by el-Sissi was announced on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, establishing stiffer prison sentences for offences deemed to be terrorism-related, heavy fines for journalists who publish “false news” and a special judicial circuit for terrorism-related cases. Egypt has not had a parliament for over two years, and legislative authority rests with el-Sissi. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2015 file photo, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi waves as he arrives to the opening ceremony of the new section of the Suez Canal in Ismailia, Egypt. A new 54-article anti-terrorism bill signed into law by el-Sissi was announced on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, establishing stiffer prison sentences for offences deemed to be terrorism-related, heavy fines for journalists who publish “false news” and a special judicial circuit for terrorism-related cases. Egypt has not had a parliament for over two years, and legislative authority rests with el-Sissi. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 15, 2015 file photo, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi greets delegates before he speaks during the final day of a major economic conference, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. A new 54-article anti-terrorism bill signed into law by el-Sissi was announced on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, establishing stiffer prison sentences for offences deemed to be terrorism-related, heavy fines for journalists who publish “false news” and a special judicial circuit for terrorism-related cases. Egypt has not had a parliament for over two years, and legislative authority rests with el-Sissi. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

    FILE - In this March 15, 2015 file photo, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi greets delegates before he speaks during the final day of a major economic conference, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. A new 54-article anti-terrorism bill signed into law by el-Sissi was announced on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, establishing stiffer prison sentences for offences deemed to be terrorism-related, heavy fines for journalists who publish “false news” and a special judicial circuit for terrorism-related cases. Egypt has not had a parliament for over two years, and legislative authority rests with el-Sissi. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 15, 2015 file photo, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi speaks during the final day of a major economic conference, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. A new 54-article anti-terrorism bill signed into law by el-Sissi was announced on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, establishing stiffer prison sentences for offences deemed to be terrorism-related, heavy fines for journalists who publish “false news” and a special judicial circuit for terrorism-related cases. Egypt has not had a parliament for over two years, and legislative authority rests with el-Sissi. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

    FILE - In this March 15, 2015 file photo, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi speaks during the final day of a major economic conference, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. A new 54-article anti-terrorism bill signed into law by el-Sissi was announced on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, establishing stiffer prison sentences for offences deemed to be terrorism-related, heavy fines for journalists who publish “false news” and a special judicial circuit for terrorism-related cases. Egypt has not had a parliament for over two years, and legislative authority rests with el-Sissi. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)  (The Associated Press)

Egyptian state media says President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has signed into law a new anti-terrorism bill which has prompted criticism from some politicians and rights groups.

The 54-article law, published on state news agency MENA Monday, defines terrorism broadly, describing it in one clause as any act that disturbs public order with force.

It also prescribes stiff jail sentences for a range of crimes, including promoting or encouraging any "terrorist offense," as well as damaging state institutions or infrastructure.

The law also sets heavy fines for publishing "false news or statements" about terrorist acts, or news contradicting the Defense Ministry's reports.

Egypt has not had a parliament for over two years, and legislative authority rests with el-Sissi. Any debate is largely through compliant media or behind closed doors.