Last Update 21:44
Tuesday, 17 September 2019

UN rights watchdog criticises Egyptian protest law

Egypt's recently approved protest law is seen as an obstacle to freedom by the UN

AFP, Tuesday 19 Feb 2013
 UN rights watchdog criticises Egyptian protest law
Mostafa Mahmoud March (Photo: Nihal Akl)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1170
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1170

The UN's human rights office on Tuesday took Egypt to task over a planned law on public protests, saying it would curb freedoms and breach international rules.

"Although freedom of assembly can be subject to certain restrictions, freedom should be considered the rule, and restrictions the exception," Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters.

He said draft legislation approved last week by Egypt's cabinet would undermine "one of the cornerstones of democracy".

The draft stipulates that organisers must inform authorities in advance of plans to protest and the interior ministry has the right to reject a demonstration.

Protests will be restricted to a specific location in each province to be decided by the governor.

The draft also prohibits setting up platforms for speakers and the use of tents during sit-ins, as well as the carrying of banners or the chanting of slogans deemed defamatory or insulting to religion or state institutions.

The Egyptian government argues that the legislation -- which still needs to be ratified by the upper house of parliament -- is meant to prevent the mixing of peaceful and violent protests.

Colville said freedom of assembly was protected by a raft of international human rights accords ratified decades ago by Egypt.

"No one should be criminalised or subjected to any threats or acts of violence, harassment or persecution for addressing human rights issues through peaceful protests," he said.

Egypt has witnessed violence, insecurity and price hikes, fuelling political turmoil already plaguing the country.

Protests by Egyptians who accuse Islamist President Mohamed Morsi of betraying the revolution that brought him to power, have often turned into violent and sometimes deadly clashes with police.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.