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More political figures condemn draft protest law

Opposition mounts against draft protest law that critics say will restore Mubarak-era police state

Ahram Online , Thursday 17 Oct 2013
Mostafa El-Naggar
Former MP Mostafa El-Naggar
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More public figures have criticised a draft protest law currently being reviewed by interim President Adly Mansour.

Strong Egypt Party leader Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh attacked the draft via Twitter on Thursday.

"The draft law to ban protests and strikes settles the matter: we have an oppressive authority that has no legitimate understanding of freedom, dignity and rights," he said.

Former MP Mostafa El-Naggar likened the draft law to a “bastard child fathered by Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

"We want a law that allows protests, not bans them. We want a law that criminalises the murder of peaceful protesters, not legalises it. We want to widen the space for freedom, not tighten it up," El-Naggar said via Facebook on Thursday.

Diplomat and writer Ezzedine Choukri also condemned the draft.

"The draft protest law is a violation of the government's promise to protect freedom of peaceful expression," he said via Twitter.

Among the law's most controversial articles 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.

The law has also been criticised by the Salafist Nour Party, April 6 Youth Movement, Youth Revolution Block and Tamarod.

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