World Bulletin / News Desk
Around 242 activists have joined a solidarity hunger strike over the past 24 hours in support of dozens of people who were thrown in jail for violating the controversial protest law, an Egyptian youth movement has said.
"Nine Egyptian activists living in Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Sweden and Canada have staged a hunger strike, expanding the campaign's scope," the Freedom for the Brave group said in a statement on Sunday.
It added that two more activists had officially registered their hunger strike in addition to ten others who had staged a symbolic one-day hunger strike on Saturday inside central Cairo's Journalists Syndicate.
The nine activists bring to 324 the total number of people who have staged hunger strikes to protest the law, including 82 now in jail for violating it.
Seven left-leaning political parties organized a symbolic one-day hunger strike on Saturday in solidarity with the detained activists.
The parties described their symbolic hunger strike as an "escalation" of a wider campaign dubbed the "Battle of Empty Stomachs", which was launched earlier this month.
The seven parties lobby for amending the controversial legislation, which was issued in November.
The law makes it necessary for protest organizers to submit written notification to the Interior Ministry three days before staging a demonstration.
It gives the Interior Ministry the right to deny organizers permission if the planned demonstration is deemed a "threat" to security or public safety or if security conditions are "inappropriate."
The law also authorizes policemen to use force to disperse demonstrators.
According to the law, violators can either be fined or imprisoned – penalties that have provoked the ire of many Egyptian politicians and activists, who say the legislation curbs freedoms and gives police free rein to bar popular protest.
A recent report by local NGO Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights says that 41,000 Egyptians had been prosecuted since last year's ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi.
Egyptian authorities continue to deny the prosecution of political activists, saying that all those currently in jail face criminal charges.Last Mod: 15 Eylül 2014, 09:50