Lawsuit challenges Egyptian ban on protests near ‘vital locations’

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Saturday 14 Jan 2017

Prominent Egyptian lawyer Khaled Ali and the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) have challenged in court a ministerial decree restricting protests from being held near “vital locations.”  

The suit challenges decree 37 issued by the interior minister, which bans protests from being held near “vital spots and public facilities in Cairo.”

The lawsuit comes after a Cairo court for urgent matters upheld on Saturday a previous court ruling blocking a protest from being held near the cabinet building in downtown Cairo and moving it to El-Fostat Garden in Old Cairo.

The protest, which is against the Egyptian-Saudi Red Sea island deal and was set to be held today, has been “indefinitely postponed” by the organisers after the court ruling.

The would-be demonstrators planned to protest the deal between Cairo and Riyadh to place the Egyptian-controlled Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir under Saudi Arabian sovereignty.

The planned protest had been rescheduled from 11 to 14 January after officials at a local police station did not process the notification that the protest would be held, which is required by law for the protest to be deemed legal.

On Wednesday, a court for urgent matters issued the change of location upon the request of interior minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar, who argued that the initial protest site would have been difficult to secure.

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