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Sunday, 13 June 2021

Egyptian MP Haitham El-Hariri acquitted on charges of illegal protesting

El-Hariri, for whom a three-year jail sentence was overturned, said his acquittal was 'incomplete' as thousands remain behind bars on similar charges

Hana Afifi , Sunday 27 Mar 2016
Egyptian MP Haytham El-Hariri
Egyptian MP Haitham El-Hariri (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Alexandria member of parliament Haitham El-Hariri was acquitted on charges of illegal protesting on Saturday, though he said in press statements that his acquittal was “incomplete” as thousands remain behind bars on similar charges.

El-Hariri had received a three-year prison sentence in absentia last September. 

The acquittal decision can be appealed by the prosecution within 60 days; if by then no appeal is presented, the decision is considered final.

The MP reiterated he will push for a change of the protest law, which prohibits demonstrations without government approval.

"We will submit recommendations by the National Council for Human Rights on the protest law and the terrorism law," El-Hariri told Ahram Online.

He said the 25/30 Coalition and the Social Justice Coalition – two independent opposition coalitions – will submit these recommendations after the parliament's special committees are formed.

"But would the majority of parliament approve such laws?" El-Hariri said.

The protest law, which requires a government permit, has been condemned by rights activists as unconstitutional, as the constitution grants the right to protest with prior notification only.

The independent leftist El-Hariri, who is MP for the Karmooz ‎Moharrem Bey district, is the son of the ‎late leftist activist Abul-Ezz El-Hariri.‎

Two weeks ahead of the mass protests that took place on 30 June 2013 against Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, El-Hariri was charged with inciting violence and calling for protests against the now banned-Muslim Brotherhood from which Morsi hails.

Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives agreed to lift immunity from El-Hariri so he could be tried upon a request by the attorney-general.

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