183 'Brotherhood members' arrested Friday for unauthorized protesting

Ahram Online, Friday 29 Nov 2013

183 protesters were arrested across Egypt on Friday in accordance with a strict application of Egypt's newly enacted protest law

Egypt's Ministry of Interior said 183 members of the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested Friday for conducting unauthorized protests and blocking roads.

In a press release, the ministry strongly condemned mobilization that does not abide by the newly-enacted protest law, which stipulates that all protests must be preapproved by the police station that has jurisdiction over the area where the demonstration will be held.

The statement also stressed that police forces will enforce the protest law, despite the considerable controversy the law has stirred since its enactment on Sunday.

The ministry confirmed that police forces have used water cannons and teargas to disperse protests after issuing a warning, a protocol outlined in the new protest law.

In Cairo, 106 protesters were arrested during protests on Friday. Demonstrations also took place across Egypt, in Giza, Matrouh, Alexandria, Monufia, Demitta and Behira, Minya, Sohag and Bani Seuf.

The law has been labeled "anti-protests" by human rights groups and activists, who say that it fails to protect freedom of assembly and promotes heavy-handed state intervention. This view is disputed by the interim authorities.

"It is not a law that limits the right to demonstrate. It protects the rights of protesters," Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi told AFP on Sunday.

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