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Egypt rights body gives propsals to legislative reform committee

Heads of National Council for Human Rights and Supreme Legislative Reform Committee discuss amending protest law, legal definition of terrorism

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Aug 2014
Shura Council
Security forces attack protesters in front of the Shura Council, in downtown Cairo, Egypt, November 26, 2013 (Photo: Mai Shaheen).
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The recommendations included proposals for making changes to a controversial protest law, to articles on terrorism in the penal code and for drafting an anti-discrimination law.
 
The committee was formed by a presidential decree in June to research, study and prepare the needed decisions and draft laws that should be issued to comply with the country's new constitution, passed in January 2014.
 
The government-appointed NCHR has called for reforms to a harsh protest law passed in November. NCHR President Mohamed Fayek presented the recommendations to the head of the reform committee, Transitional Justice Minister Ibrahim El-Heneidy on Monday.
 
While two recommendations of the NCHR for amending the protest law were implemented, another 12 still need to be addressed, NCHR deputy head Abdel-Ghaffar Shukr told Ahram Online.
 
The recommendations call for easing restrictions on organising protests and reducing sentences for violators.
 
The law gives police the power to ban any protest and lays heavy sentences on violators of the law which could reach five years in prison and a fine of LE200,000.
 
Hundreds of protesters have been sentenced since the law was issued by former interim president Adly Mansour in November 2013.
 
Legislative power remains in the hands of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi until an elected parliament is sworn in. Parliamentary elections are expected by the end of this year.
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