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Draft protest law violates international human rights law: ANHRI

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Rights group condemns draft protest law, point out ‘defects’ in law

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has condemned the draft protest law that has been approved by the Cabinet and submitted to interim President Adly Mansour for ratification. The group believes the law “violates the principals of international human rights law.”

The rights group said on Thursday that after receiving a copy of the draft, it was “surprised that the features of the law that have been published in the Egyptian newspapers and media … don’t mention the articles that have defects.”

In its statement, ANHRI outlined its observations of the draft and stated: “The draft law is an attempt to confiscate the right of the peaceful assembly and to subject it to the security state’s grip.”

The group points out that it believes the law “legitimises the use of violence by security forces against the demonstrations and the peaceful assemblies.” ANHRI stressed: “The draft law violates the principals of international human rights law and tries to remove the international protection imposed on the right to demonstrate and peaceful assembly.”

ANHRI states that the draft “violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the terms of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is signed and ratified by Egypt and became legally binding.”

The group believes the law protects “police officers who use excessive force in the face of the peaceful protest,” and “facilitates impunity” in cases of “killing the peaceful protesters.” It also believes that the draft law allows for the security services “to make instant judgments on the actions of protesters and punish them immediately”, therefore by-passing the judicial authority.

The statement also points out: “The law forgot that the successive authorities, including the current power came to the power through the peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins, and completely confiscates the right of peaceful sit-in.”

The draft law has already received criticism from 17 non-governmental organisations, that believe the law aims to create a permanent state of emergency. There has also been criticism from the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and Amnesty International.

ANHRI believes this draft is similar to a law that the now dissolved Shura Council looked to pass in 2012. ANHRI pointed out that it also condemned the previous draft.

About the author

Joel Gulhane

News Reporter

Joel Gulhane is a journalist with an interest in Egyptian and regional politics. Follow him on Twitter @jgulhane


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