World Bulletin / News Desk
The Salafi Al-Nour Party and the April 6 protest movement have lashed out at Egypt's new protest law, saying the law trims freedoms and muzzles opposition in the country.
Al-Nour Party and April 6 have backed the ouster of Egypt's first elected president Mohamed Morsi by the army on July 3.
Despite this, they say Egypt's interim administration does not have the right to issue laws that curb freedom of speech and deny Egyptians the right to protest peacefully.
"All international conventions guarantee the right to peaceful assembly," said Talaat Marzouq, the deputy chairman of the Nour party.
"The new law, however, puts restrictions on this right," he told Anadolu Agency.
Interim president Adly Mansour on signed the law that makes it necessary for protest organizers to submit a written notification to the Interior Ministry three days prior to staging the assembly.
It says the Interior Ministry has the right to deny the organizers permission if the security agencies deem the assembly a threat to security or public safety or if security conditions are not appropriate.
The law says violators will either be fined or put in jail, which provoked the ire of some of the nation's politicians and activists who say the law only curbs the freedoms of Egyptians.
"The fact is that Egypt's current Penal Code has enough punitive measures to deter violators," Marzouq said.
Another Al-Nour leader agreed. Abdel-Ghafar Taha, a member of the media committee of the party, said the presidency had overlooked the reservations the nation's political forces had sent to it on the law.
"The question here is: does the interim president have the right to issue such a law?" Taha asked in a statement.
He added that the law does not take Egypt's current political and security conditions into consideration and turns the notification that protest organizers should submit to the Interior Ministry into an application for permission from the ministry.
Tarek al-Khouli, a leader from the April 6 protest movement, slammed as "unacceptable" some of the articles of the new law.
Al-Khouli especially expressed opposition to requirement that protest organizers present a written notification to the Interior Ministry three days before their assembly, saying this article "imposes restrictions on freedoms."
"The law will usher in huge debates in society, especially among revolutionaries and intellectuals," Al-Khouli warned.
However, he admitted the law might be welcomed among ordinary Egyptians who, according to Al-Khouli, got fed up with the protests staged by the Muslim Brotherhood movement to demand Morsi's reinstatement.
He said debates on the law might increase the polarization within the Egyptian society, which, he said, would serve the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood at the end of the day.
Al-Khouli added that the government would rather have delayed the issuance of the law until a new parliament is elected and enough debates are made about it.Last Mod: 25 Kasım 2013, 10:23