Egypt Independent

Egypt government amends recently scraped protest law



Egypt's Justice Minister Hossam Abdel Rahim announced Wednesday that the cabinet has approved the amendment to Article 10 of the Protest Law.

The amendment to the article has now placed the fate of any protests into the hands of the judiciary, rather than the earlier provision of law that gave full authority to the interior ministry to ban any protests in case they deemed them a threat to peace and security.

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court on Saturday struck down Article 10 of the protest law that allowed authorities to ban all protests, except those officially sanctioned.

The 2013 law, which has been used to jail activists for up to two years, required demonstrators to inform the interior ministry that they were planning a protest.

The ministry could then refuse permission.

The Supreme Constitutional Court has ruled that the article was unconstitutional.

The court said in a statement that the constitution guaranteed freedom of association and the right to peaceful protest.

The law was passed months after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was army chief at the time, overthrew his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi.

A crackdown on Islamist supporters of Morsi after his ouster saw hundreds of demonstrators killed and thousands jailed, including secular dissidents.

Jihadist attacks have since killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen.

The United Nations and rights groups had asked the Egyptian government to reconsider the protest law.

In October, Sisi said his government would look into revising the law, shortly after pardoning 82 detainees imprisoned on political grounds or over freedom of expression.