CAIRO: The Cabinet approved a bill penalizing “some protests, sit-ins and gatherings,” during a meeting held on Wednesday.
“Any protest that uses violence, vandalizes public property, obstructs people from reaching their jobs or obstructs the flow of traffic, will be penalized,” Cabinet Spokesman Magdy Rady told Daily News Egypt.
People who call for these kinds of protests or participate in them will be penalized by imprisonment or a fine that can reach LE 500,000 according to the Cabinet’s website.
“However any peaceful protest that doesn’t obstruct businesses or the flow of traffic is allowed and guaranteed by the law,” Rady added.
This draft will be implemented until the end of the state of emergency in Egypt.
The Cabinet said that all sector protests and sit-ins have to end immediately, especially that the Cabinet has responded to most of the people’s demands which were relayed through legal channels.
The Cabinet added that it’s in the process of drafting a plan to reform employment and salary policies which are the basic demand of sector protesters.
Karima Al-Hifnawy, member of the National Association for Change and the Kefaya opposition movement, said she rejected the bill.
“Stability is needed, but people have rights and they should be allowed to call for them,” Al-Hifnawy told DNE.
“Their criteria of these kinds of protests aren’t accurate,” Al-Hifnawy said. “Anyone can be accused of obstructing the flow of traffic or business if he’s protesting for something the government doesn’t approve of.”
The same Cabinet statement also stipulated new rules for establishing political parties. New parties must give notice to a committee formed by a top judge and two members of Egypt’s State Council, the cabinet added.