web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Morsi’s Egypt Poised to Criminalize Protest

banners or chants "that include insults, defamation or contempt of 'heavenly' religions, or that stir sedition, violence or hatred or include an offence to state bodies and institutions" will be prohibited
Morsi-Mubarak

Morsi-Mubarak
Photo Credit: Yoram Yanover

On Wednesday, February 13, the Egyptian Islamist-dominated cabinet approved a new draft law regulating public protests.

Egypt’s Justice Minister, Ahmed Mekki, said the proposed law was drawn up in order “to ensure the peaceful nature of demonstrations.”

The proposed regulations deal with several critical aspects of public protests.  The demonstration approval process, the use of physical objects, the location and the topics which can be discussed, all will be severely restricted if the new proposal becomes law.

The proposed restrictions include a prohibition on raised platforms for speakers and the use of tents, both of which were famously used during the revolution two years ago and again this past year during the demonstrations against Egyptian President Morsi’s Constitution.

Under the new legislation, protesters will not be permitted to wear masks or other objects to cover their faces, and banners or chants “that include insults, defamation or contempt of ‘heavenly’ religions, or that stir sedition, violence or hatred or include an offence to state bodies and institutions” will be prohibited.

And there will now be only one site within each district at which protests can be held, and that site will be designated by the governor of each district.  Blocking roads and squares will not be permitted anywhere, and permit applications will have to be submitted at least three days in advance of the protest.  In addition, no protests will be permitted within 200 meters of any government buildings or places of worship.

The proposed law now goes to the Shura Council, which is the upper body of the Egyptian legislature.  The Shura Council is the only body with the power to pass legislation during the current transition period.

The official reason for the proposed changes is to ensure the right of “peaceful assembly,” while preventing mass violence and mayhem, but human rights groups are critical.

In the two years since the start of the Egyptian revolution, there have been many demonstrations, quite a few have been violent and there has been a good deal of damage and delay caused by the demonstrations.  More than 60 people died during violent protests between January 25 and February 4, alone. Prior to the revolution, there were no public protests, because they were not permitted.

But for researchers at the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, a different calculation must be drawn.  A  CIHRS statement pointed out about the draft law:

It is worth noting that all of these prohibitions were routinely used by the government under Mubarak as a means to repress freedom of expression.  This same article would also make it illegal to insult to a governmental body and its constituent organizations, which would mean the prohibition of any demonstration accusing a public institution of failure or corruption, or which demands its reform, a change in its leadership, or that it be held to account for any crimes or violations.   Anyone who does so would face a jail sentence and a fine of between twenty and fifty thousand Egyptian Pounds.

The Egyptian director of Human Rights Watch, Heba Morayef, also noted the backwards direction in which Egypt seems headed: “This law seems designed to actually increase restrictions, whereas the existing legal framework, which dates back to the early 20th century, was bad enough.”

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Morsi’s Egypt Poised to Criminalize Protest”

  1. Rabbi Rosenberg and his 'interfaith' efforts for peace — Winds…

    sheikyermami.com/2013/02/10/rabbi-rosenberg-and-his-interfaith-efforts-for-…

    4 days ago… Organizers to vote on restoring 'Hatikva' to interfaith program… be omitted during the area's interfaith Holocaust commemoration, because,… of his position, Rosenberg is now calling for a boycott of the event he helped found,…

  2. Yechiel Baum says:

    from Paroh to Morsi – what changed?

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Cinema City Iron Man Theater in Jerusalem. (illustrative)
US Govt IDs North Korea in Sony Cyber Terror Attack
Latest News Stories

US teachers are learning “3-D printing” from the Dept. of Defense.

U.S. President Barack Obama.

U.S. lawmakers were divided, but many upset, about Pres. Barack Obama’s secret talks that restored full relations with Cuba.

The Harvard seal, "veritas," on the side of a Harvard building.

Harvard announced it will “look into” its boycott of SodaStream. But will it remove the boycott?

PM Binyamin Netanyahu lights Hanukkah candles in Jerusalem.

PM Binyamin Netanyahu warns he will not allow the UN Security Council resolution on behalf of the PA to endanger Israeli citizens.

Israeli soldiers holding (and eating) ‘sufganiyot’- doughnuts traditionally eaten on Hanukkah, as they pose for a pictures on the 2nd night of Hanukkah at a candle lighting ceremony held near the Gush Etzion junction. This particular lighting ceremony was held at a memorial spot in commemoration of the three Jewish teenagers who were kidnapped and […]

Excavations also turned up hidden tunnels dug by Jewish rebels in the period of the Bar Kokhba Revolt.

Is Sydney also going to turn out the lights on Christmas trees?

25-year-old man threatened former Shas party head with violence.

Are machine gun shots all night long and the death from a “work accident” not enough evidence for the EU court?

“It was crucial to my survival knowing that I was not forgotten.“

Feiglin decided he and the Likud party are better off if he fights on only one front, not two or three.

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.

I’m sorry, but Naftali Bennett decided to dress up as an aging Tel Aviv Hipster and… apologize…

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
The Harvard seal, "veritas," on the side of a Harvard building.

Harvard announced it will “look into” its boycott of SodaStream. But will it remove the boycott?

The Harvard seal, "veritas," on the side of a Harvard building.

Harvard boycotts SodaStream to avoid offense to Palestinian Arab students.

Report determines mosque fire blamed on “Jewish settlers” was actually an electrical fire.

Hundreds of schoolchildren killed or wounded in Taliban attack on Pakistani school.

Former AP correspondent exposes the shoddiness of modern journalism, especially about Israel.

Islamist terrorists have taken 13 hostage in a chocolates cafe in Sydney, Australia.

AQAP claims it hit an airbase in Yemen where American advisers are located.

UCalifornia union passes empty BDS resolution, but triggers “no politics in classroom” policy – win for Israel!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/morsis-egypt-poised-to-criminalize-many-forms-of-protest/2013/02/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: