CAIRO: The Cairo Administrative Court adjourned to Feb. 28 a case filed to annul the Minister of Interior’s decree 156 to for the year 1964, which allows the use of live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protests and demonstrations.
The case was filed by activists Malek Mostafa, who lost his right eye to a rubber bullet injury during the Mohamed Mahmoud crackdown on Nov. 19, and his wife Fatma Abed, against the Minister of Interior, the Prime Minister and the head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF).
The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights and El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence filed this case with the activists and were later joined by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information and the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression.
“The case was postponed for the government to prepare the documents regarding the arming of the security forces,” said lawyer Taher Aboul Nasr from El Nadeem Center.
“It is unconstitutional to disperse protests and demonstrations using ammunition,” he noted.
“Rights groups are working on stopping the execution and canceling the legislative and administrative decrees which give authorities the license to kill citizens when dispersing demonstrations and protests,” the five rights groups said in a joint statement on Jan. 16.
“The actions of both the military and the police since Jan. 25 have been unlawful and violated the rights of citizens to demonstrate and the right to stay physically safe during the demonstration and protests,” the statement said, adding that they did not adhere to the international standards.
The rights groups condemned the constant manipulation in covering crimes against citizens such as running over protesters with APCs, using live ammunition and targeting protesters’ upper body during the Mohamed Mahmoud and Cabinet crackdowns, all of which have been documented in a report by the National Council of Human Rights.