Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageEgyptian president passes new law restricting protests

By Scott Tuttle     Nov 24, 2013 in World
Cairo - On Sunday, Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour passed a new law banning protests of more than 10 people without prior government approval.
Some say this new law is even stricter than laws against protests during the days of ex-dictator Hosni Mubarak.
According to Hazem Beblawi, Egypt's prime minister, "It is not a law that limits the right to demonstrate, but it aims at protecting the right of protesters." Beblawi later went on to say that the Egyptian government has the right to thwart protesters or social movements "if it is felt to be a threat to national security."
The law requires that any protest movement of more than 10 people must turn in a written notice to a police station near the place where the protest is scheduled to take place no sooner than three days prior to the event. This notice must include details about the protesters, slogans that will be used, and purpose of the protest. Furthermore, it forbids protests from happening in or around a place of worship.
If found guilty of violating this law, a supposed protester could face up to seven years in prison. According to Prime Minister Beblawi, offenses warranting punishment include everything as minor as covering one's face to use of violent force.
Protesting without a permit could result in $1,500 fines and violent protests could end in fines of as much as $44,000 in addition to prison time.
Human rights groups argue that the new law gives security forces unrestricted power to use birdshot on protest groups, but Beblawi denies this allegation, arguing that the law requires that security forces must first issue a verbal warning followed by use of softer weapons such as tear gas or water cannons. If all else fails, then they will be allowed to use birdshot.
According to Shaima Awad, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the new law is "nonsense". "How can I notify them three days before the protests and give the names of organizers? It would be like handing myself in. ... We can now all agree that the military authorities are trying to strangle any voice that says no. We won't accept and others won't accept that either."
This new law follows in the wake of massive pro-Morsi protests against the current government. During the interim government's attempt to crack down on Morsi supporters, over 1,000 people have been killed in clashes with security forces.
Students of Cairo University  who are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian Presi...
Students of Cairo University, who are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, shout slogans against the military and interior ministry
With permission by Reuters / Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Students of Cairo University  who are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian Presi...
Students of Cairo University, who are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, shout slogans against the military and interior ministry during a demonstration in front of riot police at the main gate of the university around Al Nahda square in Cairo November 24, 2013, to commemorate the passing of 100 days since security forces cleared the vigils in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi at Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares
With permission by Reuters / Mohamed Abd El Ghany
More about Egypt, Protests, Limit, Government, President
More news from
Latest News
Top News