Al-Dostour Party in a Monday statement called on Egyptians to attend Tuesday’s proceedings session of a lawsuit that challenges the Protest Law, filed by the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR).
The party has been criticising the law, which according to the statement “led to the imprisonment of the January 2011 revolution’s youth,” since its issuance in November 2013.
ECESR Director Khaled Ali had argued against the constitutionality of the law during a 3 June sessionof the lawsuit.
A number of people have been arrested for organising protests without obtaining the permits stipulated by the law. On Wednesday last week, activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and 24 others were sentenced to 15 years of prison and fined EGP 100,000 each for violating the law, among other charges. They are also to be placed under police observation for five years after serving their time in prison.
On 9 June, 112 suspects arrested during a student protest on the third anniversary of the 25 January Revolution were sentenced to one year imprisonment with labour over violating the Protest Law and other charges.
An Alexandria court sentenced activist and lawyer Mahienour El-Massry and eight others to two years in prison and an EGP 50,000 fine for protesting last April during the trial of the policemen charged with the murder of Khaled Said.
Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel, co-founders of 6 April Youth Movement, and political activist and blogger Ahmed Douma were sentenced on 22 December to three years’ hard labour and fined EGP 50,000 under the Protest Law.
The Protest Law was issued by Hazem El-Beblawi’s cabinet last November to “regulate” protests, requiring permission from the Ministry of Interior to organise demonstrations. It was then retracted for public discussion, and approved in late November 2013 by former interim president Adly Mansour.
The legislation includes restrictions on protests, marches and public meetings and requires three-day notice for protests. It allows the minister of interior to move or change the route of assemblies, or cancel them.
Articles in the Protest Law also allow security forces to use water cannons, batons and teargas to disperse protesters, as well as “escalatory measures”, including the use of rubber bullets and metal pellets.