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Egyptian Lawyers Syndicate committee threaten demos against protest law

The freedoms committee of the Lawyers Syndicate has fiercely criticised the controversial new protest law

Ahram Online, Monday 25 Nov 2013
Lawyers Syndicate
The Lawyers Syndicate in Cairo (file photo)
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A committee within the Egyptian Lawyers Syndicate has demanded that the interim president revoke a newly-enacted protest law which critics say is repressive.

The freedoms' committee of the syndicate will instigate "mass protests" if the law is not revoked in the next two days, according to spokesman Asaad Heikal who spoke at a press conference on Monday.

Heikal said the main demands of the 2011 revolution -- bread, freedom and social justice -- would be echoed at such demonstrations.

"We have already told the president that this law should not be issued before a civil dialogue takes place about it," he said.

The law, issued on Sunday by President Adly Mansour, bans all protests larger than ten people that have not received prior government approval, and allows security forces to ban protests or demonstrations that are considered to threaten public order.

The controversial law has drawn a chorus of condemnation from rights groups who say it promotes heavy-handed policing.

Rights campaigners said lawmakers have failed to include necessary proposed amendments in the final version of the law.

Heikal invited all political forces and activists to meet on Wednesday to discuss possible ways of mobilisation against the law. "The protest law will not pass," he said.

"It is unreasonable to protest against [ousted president Mohamed Morsi] when he tried to issue it, and accept it now."

Supporters of the new law say the legislation is necessary to ensure peaceful demonstrations at a time of instability.

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