Egypt court rejects lawsuit filed against protest law

Monday 01-02-2016 04:53 PM

By Menna Zaki

CAIRO, Feb 1 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court rejected Monday a lawsuit demanding the abolition of the protest law, which has stirred controversy since its issuance in 2013.

The law has received wide local and international criticism.

Rights groups have been calling for the amendment of the law. The Cairo Insitute for Human Rights Studies previously described it as "draconian" while the US-based watchdog Human Rights Watch said it was "deeply restrictive."

The 25-article law outlines regulations and conditions for peaceful protest imposing a practical ban on street demonstrations. 

The law was issued during the transitional months under then-Interim President Adly Mansour, shortly after the ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi by the military following mass protests against his rule.

In the absence of a legislative authority, since parliament was dissolved in 2012, the law was passed by a presidential decree on November 24, 2013 as per article 156 of the Egyptian constitution.

The article further stipulates that laws should be "presented to, discussed and approved by the new House of Representatives within 15 days of the commencement of its session."

Activists like Alaa Abdel Fattah and Mahinour al-Masry are currently serving prison sentences in separate cases for violating the law.

Egypt's newly elected House of Representatives convened on Jan 10.

The law, however, was not among the legislations discussed in the parliament's sessions as it was passed before Egypt adopted a constitution in Jan. 2014. 

Egypt's constitutional court is currently looking into another lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.

On Jan. 25, Egypt marked the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Uprising that ousted long-serving President Hosni Mubarak. The anniversary was largely quiet compared to previous years.

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