Monday, November 25, 2013

Egyptian interim president issues extremely restrictive law on holding public meetings

Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour on Sunday issued a new law on holding protest demonstrations, in spite of earlier promises, by deputy prime minister Ziad Bahaa El Din among others, that the law would be discussed by the - yet to be elected - parliament.The new law, which consists of 25 articles, which outline in detail the conditions that must be met before a protest, political meeting or march is held, is extremely restrictive. It gives the police, i.c. the authorities, the right to ban all public meetings.
Heba Morayef, the director of Human Rights Watch in Egypt, tweeted that a
''3-day advance notification to MOI (is) now required for any public meeting of more than 10 ppl in a public place including election-related.''
She added cynically that the good news in the last version of the law is that birthday parties are allowed without prior consent by the Ministery of the Interior, as the law only deals with public meetings. Also in the new version of the law, contrary to the earlier version, weddings and funerals are allowed in places of worship.
The law is a new sign that the most conservative forces in Egypt (the military, the deep state) are the ones that are effectively in control.

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