Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour approved on Sunday a controversial law regulating protests, two weeks after the cabinet submitted it for his review, state TV reported.

The controversial ‘protest law’ has drawn a chorus of condemnation from rights groups who slammed it as “repressive” and say it fails to protect freedom of assembly and promotes heavy-handed state intervention.

Rights campiagners said lawmakers have failed to bring about necessary proposed amendments to the bill’s latest version.

“The draft law seeks to criminalise all forms of peaceful assembly, including demonstrations and public meetings, and gives the state free reign to forcibly disperse peaceful gatherings,” read a joint statement released on Friday and endorsed by 19 Egyptian rights organisations.

The statement added that the law was unacceptably rammed through which it says “will have a long-term impact on freedoms and rights of individuals to express their opinions,” noting that the bill regards “peaceful assembly as a crime in the offing.”

The law requires protests to obtain permission from the police prior to assembly and reportedly allows security forces to unconditionally use birdshots against protesters. see more

source: ahramonline