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Egypt interim president issues protest law

The new law, which the government says will not limit the right to demonstrate, leaves some rights groups in dismay over the future of protests

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Nov 2013
Adly Mansour
Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour (Photo: AP)
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Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour approved on Sunday a controversial law regulating protests, two weeks after the cabinet submitted it for his review, state TV reported.

The controversial 'protest law' has drawn a chorus of condemnation from rights groups who slammed it as "repressive" and say it fails to protect freedom of assembly and promotes heavy-handed state intervention.

Rights campaigners said lawmakers have failed to bring about necessary proposed amendments to the bill's latest version.

"The draft law seeks to criminalise all forms of peaceful assembly, including demonstrations and public meetings, and gives the state free reign to forcibly disperse peaceful gatherings," read a joint statement released on Friday and endorsed by 19 Egyptian rights organisations.

The statement added that the law was unacceptably rammed through which it says "will have a long-term impact on freedoms and rights of individuals to express their opinions," noting that the bill regards "peaceful assembly as a crime in the offing."

The law requires protests to obtain permission from the police prior to assembly and reportedly allows security forces to conditionally use birdshots against protesters.

It also imposes hefty fines for gatherings without advance notification.

Supporters of the new law say the legislation is necessary to allow the police to ensure that demonstrations are peaceful in order to achieve a semblance of stability in the country.

Prime minister Hazem Beblawi told AFP on Sunday that the new law protects the rights of protesters.

"It is not a law that limits the right to demonstrate, but it aims at protecting the right of protesters," he said.

Beblawi also said the law does not stipulate that protesters need permission before staging demonstrations, but they must give advance "notice".

Street movements have been instrumental in shaping Egypt's political life, bringing down two regimes in the past two and a half years.

Massive street protests led to the toppling of long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and, two years later, prompted Egypt's military to oust Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president.

Supporters of ousted president Morsi have been demonstrating in the streets and on university campuses since his ouster on 3 July causing considerable disruption to traffic and day-to-day activities.

On Saturday, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim warned that police would act vigilantly against non-peaceful protests.

The government imposed emergency law and a nightly curfew for three months following the violent dispersal of two pro-Morsi camps on 14 August lifting it on 14 November.

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John
25-11-2013 07:56am
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Ha haha
Who make him president?what value his issu soory he must resign and go to jail musant play with egyptian
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George Michael
25-11-2013 09:20pm
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the balance between freedom of expression and Ciaos
I believe peacful demonstrations "if" they really peacfull will not have any problem with this law.simply plan in advance, notify the authoroties and express your opinion.
Ervin
25-11-2013 07:18pm
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lol
You are raping the common sense and the Egyptian language.
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Albert Edris
24-11-2013 09:51pm
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Fascis par excellance
We are missing the Mursy government. We never thought that Sisi and cohorts would revive fascism and authoritarianism.
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Ali G
25-11-2013 01:22pm
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@Geroge Micheal The Problem
The problem dear George is that the poor sheep won't be able to "peacefully" protest and vandalize / terrorize to their hearts content now.
Khaled
25-11-2013 08:12am
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Missing Morsy?
Are you kidding me? You do not know what you are missing because you never had what you really wanted! Never make a choice because you think, make a choice of what is right for the whole country and not just for yourself!
George Michael
25-11-2013 07:05am
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what is the roblem
I don't understand what is the problem, al civilized countries require any protest organizers to obtain a permit before the demonstration date and get the approval of the Police. I lived in Washington DC, the capital of the United States for 25 years, there was a demonstration almost every day, from the right and the left, but every body obeyed the law. Also in the USA and any other civilized country , if the protesters committed violence such as destroying property or vandalizing government buildings, the police use water cannon and rubber bullets to stop the violence. Welcome to the real world.
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Shaker
24-11-2013 09:48pm
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Fascist law
a Fascist law by a fascist junta. It makes the right to protest subject to government approval.
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very etc
25-11-2013 05:00am
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Listen.....Brother!
Fascism is what you practice .....Brother!!!
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Jisan
24-11-2013 05:12pm
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Enjoy!
Egyptians, enjoy your new found democracy!
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1



Elaine Parsons
24-11-2013 05:04pm
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Concerned about democracy
This is a law that legitimizes the rule of military totalitarianism. This marks the end of democracy in Egypt.
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Khaled
25-11-2013 08:07am
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What Democracy?
There never was democracy and there will never be a democracy here in Egypt! Never! Why you ask? Because you cannot change metality.
very etc
25-11-2013 04:59am
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Do not preach!!!
Do not preach democracy!!! Little is available in your home land(s)!!! Terrosims is the real threat. Even in your own land(s)!!!
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