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Egypt Shura Council approves changes to draft protest law

Council's legislative committee agrees to remove article of proposed protest law stipulating that protester numbers must be authorised in advance

Ahram Online , Sunday 21 Apr 2013
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The Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament, currently endowed with legislative powers) has approved amendments to a controversial bill regulating public demonstrations.

The Shura Council's legislative committee on Sunday agreed to remove an article of the proposed protest law that had stipulated that the number of protesters must be determined in advance for a demonstration to receive authorisation.

Committee members argued that the number of protesters should not be pre-determined, especially if the number was small and the protest was peaceful in nature.

MP Adel Morsi suggested limiting protester numbers to only five individuals, in line with Mubarak-era legislation.

The government representative who proposed the law to the Shura Council stated that pre-determining the number of protesters was meant to establish the seriousness of protest organisers. He stressed that the law did not impose any penalties regarding the number of the protesters.

The government representative also agreed to a suggestion to change the name of the law from the Protecting the Right to Protest Law to the Regulating the Right to Protest Law.

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