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Al-Nour Party chairman calls for withdrawal of Protest Law

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UN Secretary General calls on interim government to “consider amendments to the law”

Egyptian policemen use a water canon to disperse protesters during a demonstration organized by the group "No Military Trials for Civilians" in front of the Shura council in downtown Cairo on November 26, 2013 against the new law passed the previous day regulating demonstrations in the first unauthorised protest staged in the capital since the adoption of the law. (AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

Egyptian policemen use a water canon to disperse protesters during a demonstration on 26 November  2013 against the protest law 
(AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

The newly issue Protest Law continues to draw domestic and international criticism with both the Salafi Al-Nour Part and the United Nations weighing into the debate.

Chairman of the Al-Nour Party Younes Makhioun called for the withdrawal of the law on Wednesday in light of the forceful dispersal of the No Military Trials protest on Tuesday evening. He said the existing laws were sufficient enough to deter “the manifestation of violence in and out of the path of peaceful demonstrations.”

Makhioun said, “we advised the government not to issue a law on demonstrations and to defer it until the election of a new parliament.” He added, “this government does not have the right to issue such laws.”

He pointed out that the law is not effective in limiting protests but could in fact encourage different segments of society to participate and make the situation worse. Makhioun believes that Egypt cannot hold elections or an electoral campaign with the law in place adding, “the government did not even take into account the observations of the revolutionary forces on this flawed law.”

Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon also expressed his concerns over the Protest Law in a statement read out by his spokesperson on Wednesday. Ban is “seriously concerned by the detentions and violent dispersal of protesters in Egypt, including reports of sexual assault.” He highlighted the importance of respecting the right to protest peacefully and freedom of assembly

Ban believes that the new law “could lead to serious breaches of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly” and he called on the “Egyptian authorities to consider amendments to the law.”

On Wednesday the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights also called for amendments to be made to the law, joining the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay who called for the amendment or withdrawal of the law. The interim government announced on Wednesday that there were no plans to amend the law, a stance that seeming contradicted a previous statement announcing that the interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi would form a committee to reconsider some aspects of the law.

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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