14 February 2013

Egypt: Gov't Approves New Bill Protecting Peaceful Demonstration

At its meeting on Wednesday 13/2/2013 under Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, the Cabinet approved a bill protecting the right of demonstration.

Minister of Justice Counselor Ahmed Mekki said the bill aims at protecting the right of peaceful demonstration as the strongest available right of the Egyptian people.

Addressing a press conference at the Cabinet, Mekki said the success of a demonstration hinges on its peacefulness, adding that it was by peaceful demonstrations that the Egyptian people have brought the former regime down for the first time in Egypt's history.

He underlined that following the peaceful Revolution, a new kind of demonstrations stained with violence has appeared. This bill aims to maintain the peacefulness of demonstrations, he noted, stressing the fact that peaceful demonstration is a right guaranteed in all circumstances whether or not the security bodies were informed.

Mekki said under the new bill, demonstrators have to notify the police three days ahead of demonstration and the later are bound to protect these demonstrations.

Moreover, the bill has stated that a demonstration should be held 200 meters from the government facilities.

Mekki said the bill prohibits demonstrators from carrying arms and attacking facilities. It also bans women wearing full-face veil (niqab) from taking part in the demonstration.

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