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Tamarod says Egypt draft protest law is unjust
Rebel campaign co-founder Mohamed Abdel-Aziz says a draft law currently being reviewed by the interim president betrays rights won by Egypt's popular uprisings
Ahram Online, Thursday 17 Oct 2013
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Mohamed Abdel-Aziz
Rebel campaign co-founder Mohamed Abdel-Aziz (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, one of the founding members of the Tamarod (Rebel) movement, has said that any law limiting the right to peaceful protest won by Egyptians after the 25 January and 30 June popular uprisings would be injust, Egypt's state news agency MENA reported.

A draft protest law is being reviewed by Interim President Adly Mansour after it was approved by the cabinet. Among its most controversial measures is the right given to the interior minister or senior police officials to cancel, postpone or change the location of a protest.

The law also entitles governors to designate "protest-free" areas near state buildings, including presidential palaces.

Abdel-Aziz added that non-peaceful demonstrations should be dealt with legally, without limiting or outlawing the right to peaceful protest.

The bill has already been widely criticised by several political forces, among them Egypt's largest Salafist party, El-Nour, and the April 6 Youth Movement (Democratic Front).

Tamarod gained fame after spearheading the 30 June protests that led to the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi 3 July by the armed forces.





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DAN HUCK
23-10-2013 04:39am
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ARE PEOPLE LISTENING TO EACH OTHER?
Is something being lost in the heat of this discussion? Ms. S. says this law is based on European models. In cities in the US when a demonstration is planned a permit must be arranged with the city police department. In order for a group to be given a permit, they of course must not be a criminal group! Give me a break! I would assume what Abdel-Aziz and the other groups are concerned about is that peaceful groups with no history of violence but whose message is challenging to the powers that be might be denied rights to demonstrate arbitrarily, or shunted off into an unreasonable location as a way of denying them the right. It would not be reasonable for an interim government, a roadmap arrangement towards a proper government, to have power equivalent to a legitimately elected legislature after a constitution is in place. I would think everyone would like to be clear about these two questions: 1., is this statute temporary, and 2. when they are talking about permitting a demonstration or not, since by definition it is inconceivable the permitting authority is going to grant a permit to a group which advocates violence towards the government or citizenry, or one whose leaders are in prison for advocating the same, the authorities should have no right to decide if they can refuse the right because they might not like the message the group is promulgating. They should be able to regulate demonstrations for reasons of public convenience - not putting a demonstration in a neighborhood where the demo is going to disrupt daily life, and things of this nature, but not for political reasons. DAN HUCK
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Dan Huck
22-10-2013 08:02pm
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Out of the frying pan into the fire?
Mr. Abdel-Aziz brings up considerations that will be crucial to law-abiding and well-intentioned citizens in the future as they are now. Insofar as the interim President has powers to establish law and regulations regarding rights to assemble, will it be part of that law to stipulate it is for the interim period, and after the legislature is established, on a majority vote, the legislature could send the bill back to the executive to be re-written and re-submitted? Otherwise the nation is just setting itself up to go from the frying pan into the fire; from an Islamist Sharia to a secular sharia - both of which allow for unilateral state actions towards the people.
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PierreHansen
18-10-2013 12:47pm
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Democracy - Are you kidding me?
Tell me one democracy in the whole world,where a elected president is kept incommunicado for 3 months? Show me a democracy where protesters are killed with live bullets? Show me where on earth Armies talk about how to muzzle free press? and how to terrorize them. Except Saudi Arabia(another brutal regime) no country on earth supports or invites the current leadership of this country.
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Samantha Criscione
18-10-2013 02:07pm
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Who are YOU trying to kid?
Tell me one country that tolerates a supposed opposition that regularly stages armed so-called protests whose participants burn churches and government buildings, murderously attack passersby who dare to disagree with them, and openly call for the murder of government officials while working closely with open terrorists, as the Brotherhood's Belatgy made clear the Brotherhood is doing. And as for Morsi: a) his election was accompanied by a campaign of terror against his opponent's offices and rallies; 2) he reigned as a tool of the Brotherhood Guidance Bureau; 3) his government and its Brotherhood handlers used terror regularly against opponents; 4) he used thugs to suppress the judicary 5) he several times issued dictatorial decrees and 6) he conducted a referendum which was a textbook case of a rigged election. And he is not being held ARBITRARILY, he is being held under Egyptian law as part of an investigation of extremely serious criminal charges. -- Samantha Criscione
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Samantha Criscione
17-10-2013 01:12pm
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Tamarod jumps on the demagogic bandwagon
1) The proposed law does not outlaw protest. It limits it exactly the way it is limited in all democracies. 2) I would wager that if any European country were faced with the terrorist actions disguised as protest that have been going on for months in Egypt, they would pass a law banning ALL demonstrations, period. And 3)Abdel-Aziz's modest proposal for dealing with the problem of the Brotherhood's terror-protests -- namely that they should be handled "legally," in other words, without any law giving police and governors the power to limit them in advance -- would mean, in practice, that the Brotherhood could only be opposed *after* they do damage, including killing people, which they routinely do when they 'demonstrate.' Why has Tamarod joined April 6 in making this attack? Perhaps Tamarod has discovered the reality, that it was not they, but an immense mass movement of the people -- who would have signed ANY petition against Morsi -- that overthrew Morsi and the Brotherhood. And, disappointed in the people for not treating them like great geniuses and heroes, perhaps Tamarod is now looking for other sources of comfort, hence this demagogic attack on the protest law. --Samantha Criscione
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