World Bulletin / News Desk
Eleven members of Egypt's constitution-amending panel suspended their membership on Tuesday in protest at the arrest of demonstrators outside the parliament building.
The protesting members include head of the Journalists' Syndicate Diaa Rashwan and Mahmoud Badr, the founder of Tamarod movement, which spearheaded protests that led to the July 3 military ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi.
On Tuesday, Egyptian security forces arrested 42 protesters during a demonstration outside the parliament building.
Panel member Amr Moussa told reporters that he contacted Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi, who pledged to release the detained protesters.
Earlier Tuesday, security forces dispersed a demonstration outside the parliament building in downtown Cairo staged to protest a new law regulating street protests and Egypt's ongoing practice of trying civilians in military courts.
Police used water cannons and teargas to disperse protesters outside the Shura Council (the upper house of Egypt's parliament), eyewitnesses said.
Demonstrators chanted slogans against the police and a recently-approved law that critics say sorely limits the scope of public protests.
The new law, signed by interim president Adly Mansour on Sunday, makes it necessary for protest organizers to submit written notification to the Interior Ministry three days prior to staging a demonstration.
The law gives the Interior Ministry the right to deny organizers permission to protest if security agencies deem the planned demonstration a "threat to security or public safety" or if security conditions were found to be "inappropriate."
According to the law, violators will either be fined or imprisoned – penalties that provoked the ire of many Egyptian politicians and activists who say the legislation curbs freedoms and gives police free rein to bar popular protest.
Protesters also chanted against Egypt's longstanding practice of trying civilians in military courts.
Panel to study 'reservations' at protest law
The Egyptian government said Tuesday that a panel will be formed to study "reservations" of political powers on a new law regulating street protests.
In a statement, the government said interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi met Tuesday with representatives of the National Salvation Front (NSL), a main opposition bloc against ousted president Mohamed Morsi, and youth to discuss political and economic developments.
According to the statement, the talks tackled the protest law, which makes it necessary for protest organizers to submit written notification to the Interior Ministry three days prior to staging a demonstration.
"Attendees have agreed on forming a panel to study reservations at the law," the statement said, giving no further details.
According to the statement, participants in Tuesday's meeting called for the release of demonstrators detained during protests against the law.
Scores of protesters were arrested on Tuesday during a demonstration outside the parliament building in protest at the newly-approved law and military trials for civilians.
On Wednesday, a 50-member constitutional panel approved an article allowing military trials for civilians found to have been involved in attacking military property, facilities or vehicles.
The text also stipulates that anyone – civilian or otherwise – who reveals military secrets or attacks on-duty military personnel should be tried before a military tribunal.Last Mod: 27 Kasım 2013, 11:11