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Egypt's Mansour to review protest law before issuing it: Presidency

Interim president Adly Mansour receives draft protest law for review; Presidential source says law will not replace expired state of emergency

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Nov 2013
Mansour
Egyptian Presidency, Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour (Photo: AP)
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Interim President Adly Mansour has received the government's draft protest law for review, presidential spokesperson Ehab Bedawy announced on Tuesday.

Badawy elaborated that the presidency received the draft law after it was amended by the government, and that the interim president would review the law's contents before formally issuing it.

The draft protest law has raised controversy in Egypt, as most political parties and civil society organisations consider it a set-back for human rights and freedom of protest. Political forces have demanded that the government delay discussions on the protest law until a legislative body is elected. 

Also on Tuesday, an administrative court ordered that the 3-month-old state of emergency be lifted at 4pm, and not on Thursday as the government had previously announced.

A presidential source has denied any relationship between the protest law's release and the lifting of the state of emergency. In exclusive statements to Al-Ahram's Arabic website, the source said that the protest law was not meant to replace the state of emergency.

The draft protest law, prepared by the justice ministry, was originally composed of 21 articles, the most controversial of which are articles 6, 10 and 14.

Article 6 states that a written appeal should be handed to the local police station 24 hours before any scheduled protest. The appeal must include the protest's location and purpose, the name and contact information of its organisers, as well as its demands and the proposed start and end time.

Article 10 gives the interior minister or senior police officials the authority to cancel, postpone or change the location of a protest, although protesters can seek emergency judicial intervention against such decisions. 

Article 14 states that governors have the power to designate "protest-free" areas of 50 to 100 metres around state and governmental premises, including presidential palaces, headquarters of legislative authorities and the cabinet.

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