Redefining Egyptian Nationality: Denying Political Rights Through Denying Citizenship

Published: 30/Oct/2017
Source: The Legal Agenda

By: Menna Omar – Hassan Mosad

In its meeting on September 20, 2017,[1] Egypt’s Cabinet approved a bill to amend some provisions of the country’s nationality law.[2] The proposal’s aim seems to be to increase the Cabinet’s power to revoke and remove the nationality of people convicted in cases related to terrorism or harming state security. The term “removing nationality” [isqat al-jinsiyya] pertains to persons who obtained nationality at birth and thereby possess “inherent nationality”, whereas the term “revoking nationality” [sahb al-jinsiyya] pertains to the “acquired nationality” of a person naturalized in one of the ways stipulated by law.

The Cabinet’s proposal adds a new  case to the instances in which nationality can be revoked as stipulated in Article 15 of the law.[3] This new case is “the issuance of a judicial ruling proving membership in any group, association, body, organization, gang, or entity, irrespective of its nature or legal or actual form, or whether it is based inside or outside the country, that aims to compromise the state’s public order or to undermine the social, economic, or political system by force or by any illicit means”. The proposal also increases the period wherein the Cabinet may revoke nationality from five years from the date of naturalization to ten years from this date.

Furthermore, in a clear expansion of the cases in which nationality can be removed, the proposal adds a new case to those mentioned in Article 16 of the law,[4] namely “conviction in a crime that harms national security from abroad or within”.

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Themes: Loss and Deprivation of Nationality
Regions: North Africa, Egypt
Year: 2017