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I've read that the punishment is to cut the thief's right hand off, but others say that's not true. I'm not able to find much information on this either.

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    Cutting off hands for theft is part of Sharia law, a religious system of laws used by some Muslims. Egypt is predominantly Muslim. I don't know whether Egypt uses sharia law, but that's probably why the claim was made. – Andrew Grimm Mar 22 '14 at 12:27
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The legal articles regarding theft can be found in the "Penal Law" (Law No. 58) adopted in 1937 or as it is called in Arabic "Ghanoon al-Oghubat" ( قانون العقوبات) -. I checked them and there is nothing about cutting hand in the punishments. Only imprisonment or hard labor.

You can find this information on the website of the Human Right Library of the University of Minnesota in Egypt Section (http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/research/egypt-constitution.html).

I thought it is good to add articles here for your information (it was hard to type - and I have not copied and pasted and therefore there might be typos).

The Articles regarding theft are as follows:

Part 8 Theft and Usurpation

Article 311: Whoever peculates a movable owned by another person shall be a thief.

Article 312: Whoever commits a theft to prejudice his/her spouse, ascendants or descendants, shall not be brought to trial except upon the request of the victim. The victim shall have the right to relinquish his/her prosecution in respect thereof, in any condition it is found. He/she may also the execution of the final ruling against the culprit at any time he/she wishes.

Article 313: Whoever commits a crime of theft combined with the following five conditions shall be punished with permanent hard labor:

  • First: The theft shall have occurred at night;

  • Second: The theft shall have been carried out by two or more persons,

  • Third: The thieves or one of them shall be carrying manifest or hidden arms;

  • Fourth: The thieves shall have entered a house, home, room or its appurtenances, whether occupied, or provided for dwelling, by climbing a wall or breaking a door, and so on, or using duplicate keys, or by dressing up as an officer or public official, or by producing a false warrant claiming it is issued by the government.

  • Fifth: They shall have committed the said felony by using force or by threatening, to use their arms.

Article 314: Whoever commits a theft crime by coercion shall be punished with temporary hard labor. If the use of coercion and force leaves wound trances, the penalty shall be that of permanent or temporary hard labor.

Article 315: Crimes of theft that are committed on public roads, whether within or outside the cities or villages, or on one of the means of lands, water, or air transparent, shall be punished with permanent or temporary hard labor, in the following cases:

  • First: If the theft occurs by two or more persons, and at least one of them carries a manifest or hidden arm.

  • Second: If the theft occurs by two persons or more, by the use of coercion.

  • Third: If the theft occurs, even by one person carrying an arm, and it takes place at night or by the use of coercion or by threatening to use the arm.

Article 316: Thefts that are committed at night by two or more persons and at least one of them carries a manifest or hidden arm shall be punished for with temporary hard labor.

Article 316 bis first: Thefts from the armed forces’ weapons or ammunition shall be punished for with temporary hard labor. The punishment shall be permanent hard labor if the crime takes place with coercion or by the use of an arm, of if an aggravating condition of those prescribed in Article 317 is fulfilled.

Article 316 bis second: Crimes of thefts from used materials and tools or those provided for use in the telecommunications, power generating and connecting, water, or sanitary drainage utilities that are established by the government, public authorities or organizations, or the public sector units, or those licensed or establishment as a public utility, shall be punished for with the penalty of imprisonment, if no aggravating condition of those prescribed in Articles 313 to 316 is fulfilled.

Article 316 bis third: A penalty of detention for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding seven years, shall be inflicted for the following crimes:

  • First: Theft crimes committed on one of the land, water or air means of transport.

  • Second: Theft crimes committed in an occupied place, or a place provided for dwelling, one of its appurtenances, if the place is entered by climbing the wall, breaking the door, using duplicate keys, or assuming, a false quality, or claiming to be performing or to be commissioned a public service, or such other illegal methods.

  • Third: Theft crimes taking place even by one person carrying a manifest or hidden arm.

Article 316 bis fourth: Theft crimes that take place during air raids shall be punished for by imprisonment. The penalty shall be that of temporary hard labor if an aggravating condition of those prescribed in article 317 is fulfilled in the crime.

If the crime is committed by using coercion or threatening to use an arm, the penalty shall be that of permanent hard labor.

Article 317: A penalty of penal servitude shall be inflicted for the following crimes:

  • First: Theft crimes occurring in an occupied place, a place provided for dwelling, or in its appurtenance or in one of the places provided for worship.

  • Second: Theft crimes occurring in a place surrounded with a wall or a fence of green trees, dry wood, or tunnels, by breaking it from outside, or by climbing it, or by using duplicate keys.

  • Third: Theft crimes that occur by breaking the seats prescribed in part 9 of book 2.

  • Fourth: Theft crimes occurring at night.

  • Fifth: Theft crimes occurring by two or more persons.

  • Sixth: Cancelled by virtue of law no. 59 of the year 1970.

  • Seventh: Theft crimes occurring by hired servants to the prejudice of their masters, or by the employees, artisans, or lads working in the laboratories or stores of their employers, or in the shops where they usually work.

  • Eighth: Theft crimes taking place by professionals who carry and transport the stolen items in carriages, boats, or on animal backs, or by any other person charged with the transport of objects, or by their followers if the said objects are delivered to them in their foregoing quality.

  • Ninth: Thefts from the wounded, even from the enemies, which are committed during the war.

Article 318: Thefts in which nothing of the aforementioned aggravating conditions is fulfilled shall be punished for with penal servitude for two years.

Article 319: Cancelled by virtue ref law no. 29 of the year 1982.

Article 320: Those sentenced to detention for a theft may, in case of recurrence, be placed on parole by police for a period of at least one year or at most two years.

Article 321: Attempted thefts which are considered as misdemeanors shall be punished for with penal servitude for a period not exceeding half the ceiling prescribed in the law for the crime if virtually completed.

Article 321 bis: Whoever finds a lost object or animal and does not return it to its owner whenever realizable, or deliver it to police quarter’s or the administrative authority within three days shall be punished with penal servitude for a period not exceeding two years, if he/she withholds it with the intention of its possession. But if he/she withholds it after the lapse of this period without the intention of possessing it, the penalty shall be that of a find not exceeding one hundred pounds.

I have not added the articles 322 to 327. There is nothing about cutting hands in these too. You can see the source as I mentioned above.

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