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Highlights from Egypt's draft constitution

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 22, 2012 at 4:42 am •  Published: December 22, 2012
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— News media

Independent publications closed for a day to protest the lack of an article banning arrest of journalists for what they write. The draft has this: "Freedom of the press, printing, publication and mass media shall be guaranteed. The media shall be free and independent..."

—Religious minorities

The draft guarantees the freedom of Christians and Jews to practice their rites, live by their religions' rule on marriage, inheritance and personal status and establish places of worship. But it hedges those rights on the condition they do not "violate public order" and that they will be "regulated by law." In the past, the building of churches has been limited by law because of claims it disturbs public order. The draft guarantees those rights for "the divine religions," meaning Christianity and Judaism, but not others, raising concerns of persecution of smaller sects.

— Military

The charter ensures an independent status for the powerful military. The president is the head of the national security council, but the defense minister is the commander in chief of the armed forces and "appointed from among its officers." Control of the military budget is not mentioned. It also allows civilians to be tried before military courts in some cases.