- Middle East/North Africa
The People’s Assembly Proposals and Complaints Committee discussed in a meeting Tuesday a bill proposed by MP Adel Azzazy from the Salafi-oriented Nour Party that would apply Islamic law for certain crimes.
The proposed law calls for the application of “Heraba,” an Islamic penalty for criminal actions that include overt robbery, murder, forcible taking of property with a weapon and vandalizing public facilities.
The penalties according to Azzazy’s bill are execution in the case of murder, or cutting one arm and one leg from opposite sides of the culprit’s body in the cases of robbery and forcible taking of property. If the taking of possessions is accompanied by murder, the penalty would be death or crucifixion, to be determined by the judge.
The bill also stipulates imprisonment for intimidating citizens, and that the prison sentence will end when the felon repents.
These penalties would only be imposed on adult, mentally stable wrongdoers who either commit the crimes or assist in carrying them out, according to the bill.
Policemen are entitled to treat felons with force after warning them, and are also entitled to shoot them dead. But if they surrender or are wounded, policemen are obliged not to hurt them, the proposed law says.
Stolen possessions should be returned to their owners, the law says, but it stipulates that if their owners are unknown, they should be put in the state's treasury. For murders, citizens affected by the crime should be given the options of retribution, receiving compensation or granting amnesty.
“This is God’s law and is not optional,” Azzazy said, commenting on his proposal. “The current penalties are not deterrent enough.”
MP Gamal Heshmat from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party praised the bill. He said that under former People’s Assembly Speaker Sufi Abu Taleb, draft laws were adjusted to match Islamic Sharia but were later shelved intentionally.
But the assembly’s committee asked Azzazy to reformulate the bill after the Justice Ministry’s representative, Haytham al-Baqly, criticized its lack of accuracy, saying that many of its stipulations are found in existing laws.
According to Parliament’s bylaws, the Proposals and Complaints Committee, after approving the law, should submit it to the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, which would write a report on it before slating a session to reach a final resolution.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm