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New draft protest law approved by Egyptian cabinet

Egypt's cabinet agrees on new draft legislation placing some limits on protests; justice minister says police can't ban demonstrations

Ahram Online , Wednesday 13 Feb 2013
Views: 1799
Mohammed Morsi
Egyptian protesters recently shout anti-Mohamed Morsi slogans outside the presidential palace (Photo: AP)

The cabinet of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil approved a new law Wednesday to regulate protests.

The law puts restrictions on protests, including articles that stipulate that notice must be submitted to the interior ministry five days prior to any protest, including the time, place and objectives of the demonstration.

Minister of Justice Ahmed Mekki said in a press statement Wednesday that the interior ministry does not have the right to forbid protests, but may resort to a judge to change the route of a proposed demonstration.

The law will exclude certain locations from the obligation to notify authorities of protests, justice ministry spokesperson Mahmoud Abu-Shusha told the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

Another article forbids protests within a 200-metre radius of presidential palaces, parliament, ministry headquarters, diplomatic missions, courthouses, hospitals, places of worship, security directorates, and other public buildings and sites.

According to Abu-Shusha, the limit was amended from an earlier draft that stipulated a 500-metre ceiling.

The law also puts limits on graffiti on public or private property, as well as the wearing of masks or head covers.

The cabinet is expected to send the draft legislation to the Shura council for debate.

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Carole T.
14-02-2013 06:02pm
Curbs on protests won't fly
Doesn't the government get it yet? The people do not trust them nor do they respect them. If the people of Suez, Port Said and Ismaliaya aren't afraid to defy a curfew edict how can the government believe the public will abide by some jacked up edict trying to curb protests. The Shura Council should be sacked and Qandil along with it. Very sad.
Comment's Title

14-02-2013 01:55am
democracy does not mean tyranny, opression, intimidation & dictatorship
Egyptian dictator & government need to learn what democracy,freedom of speech, freedom of expression & freedom of religion is..if they knew what those meant they would not have the protests & violence...but a government that ignores its people & minority religions is not a democracy but total tyranny & dictatorship..
Comment's Title

13-02-2013 11:34pm
New law
I, for one, most certainly do not condone violence and destruction of property and for sure do not condone brutality and torture of peaceful demonstrators but it seems that this new law is not designed to cope with the current wave of civil unrest, it seems that this new law is designed for the state to legally attack any demonstration that may cause it displeasure given that there are many laws already in effect to cover violence, thuggery and the destruction of property. Experience should have taught this regime that you can not legislate against people demanding their political and civil rights and my feeling is that this law will lead to an escalation of violence if it is enforced. Just look at what happened in the canal cities when the president declared a state of emergency..outright defiance and an inability of the security forces to implement a curfew so who will enforce this new law.??? The army??.. I see this as a very dangerous path to tread
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13-02-2013 08:54pm
Demonstrations don't mean lawlessness
Egyptians must learn that demonstratons don't mean lawlessness. anarchy, disruption of public life, torching of building s and businesses, etc.
Comment's Title
16-02-2013 12:02am
Yes, the ballot box is the ultimatr arbiter.
Egyptian: Yes, when people are divided, the ballot box is the arbiter.If you think thuggery and savagery is the solution, then you must have a real problem
15-02-2013 11:59pm
Torching building is not democracy
you torch buildings and throw molotov cocktail on Prersidential palaces and you call that democracy? What sort of education have you got?
14-02-2013 08:19am
Islamists must learn that democracy is not just through the ballot box, and having militias to attack opposition is unlawful.

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