Protest law amendment 'necessity': Egypt's state human rights body

Ahram Online , Wednesday 10 Dec 2014

National Council for Human Rights calls for changes to a controversial protest law which has seen hundreds jailed

Shura Council
Shura Council protests against protest law (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's state body for human rights has reiterated calls to amend the controversial protest law, under which hundreds have been arrested, including Islamists and key secular icons of the 2011 uprising.

The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) said that amending the law was a "necessity."

It also called on authorities to set a maximum period for preventive detention, which critics say is increasingly used as a punishment.

The protest law was issued last year to quash near-daily protests by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

The law was criticised by international and local rights groups for prohibiting unauthorised demonstrations and setting lengthy jail terms and hefty fines for violators.

In a statement marking the international day for human rights, the NCHR also stressed the role of the NGOs in human rights advocacy.

A government ultimatum for NGOs to register under law 84 of the year 2002 expired on 10 November.

Critics of the law say it was used to hamper rights organisations during the Mubarak era.

A review of Egypt's human rights status at the United Nations General Assembly in November mainly centred on three controversial issues: protest law, NGOs law and capital punishment.

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