web analytics
March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


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. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


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.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Netanyahu Warns Iran-Yemen-Nuclear Deal Axis ‘Dangerous to Humanity’ [video]
Latest News Stories
Hagala

A man makes his cooking pots kosher for Passover by dipping them into boiling water, in a process called Hagala.

Solar panels on the roofs of Israel's Knesset.

Israel’s Government Building Becomes ‘Greenest Parliament’ in the World

18,000 Iranian Centrifuges

The Prime Minister told the Cabinet the deal in the works is even worse than feared.

John Kerry stuck in Lausanne for more talk with Iran.

Don’t expect Iran to sign anything before the last minute, if not afterwards, and if at all.

With “congratulations” like these, who needs a punch in the stomach?

The Iranian-backed rebels also threaten suicide bombing attacks as they approach the Saudi border.

The discovery would be a death blow the PA claims that Tel Aviv is “Palestinian” if it weren’t for the fact that that Arafat was born in Egypt.

Who is Horowitz? He’s Netanyahu’s eyes and ears. He’s very close to him, literally his personal representative everywhere…

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with
other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”

Saudi Arabia withdraws personnel from Aden. Iran calls Saudi strike a “strategic mistake.”

“The tone of #US officials’ background comments on #Iran talks is getting progressively more dreary, like the weather in #Lausanne,” Associate Press reporter Matt Lee tweeted Saturday night. Lee is a veteran journalist who has a keen eye and ear that cuts through the double talk and dishonest smiling faces of American diplomats. If he […]

It is a long tradition in the Muslim world never to agree to anything at an agreed time.

Hamas test fired a rocket on Saturday, the rocket landed within the Gaza Strip.

Israel was aware of the report’s impending release and did not object.

The PA hasn’t changed anything on their end, so why did Netanyahu suddenly change his policy?

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Iran's nuclear enrichment facility at Fordow is in an underground bunker.

Congress is ‘fed up’ with being left in the dark on the Iran negotiations

Saudi Arabia has begun airstrikes on neighboring Yemen, which has been overtaken by Iranian-backed rebels.

Saudi Arabia began airstrikes on neighboring Yemen which has been taken over by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

Obama says Bibi has to prove he supports a “two-state solution.”

Obama’s Chief of Staff chides Netanyahu at the J Street Conference for refusing to embrace fantasy as reality.

A Cruz presidency as antidote to Obama: repeal Obamacare, dismantle the IRS, strong support for Israel.

The anti-Bibi campaign’s quiet change in tax status both came too late and constitutes an admission of wrongdoing.

V15 is barred from attempting to achieve its stated goals: defeat Bibi and create a Palestinian State.

US Embassy and consulates in Saudi Arabia closed due to ‘heightened security concerns.’

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: