In a Threat to the Gains of the 25th of January Revolution

March 24th, 2011 by Editor

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Rejects the Anti-Strike Bill

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) announces its refusal of the draft anti-strike bill which criminalizes some types of protest, strike and assembly which is considered a violation of the right to protest and the right to the freedom of opinion and expression which is protected under the constitution and the international human rights conventions ratified by the Egyptian government thus becoming legally binding in Egypt.

This draft bill punishes all those who go on strikes, protest or demonstrations or participate in such activities during the enforcement of the state of emergency with sentences of imprisonment or a financial fine of no less than 50 thousand pounds and no more than 100 thousand pounds or both if such activities obstruct work in private or public work entities. In case of use of violence in such events, protestors and strikers would be punished with no less than one year of imprisonment and a fine of no less than 100 thousand pounds and no more than 500 thousand pounds. Also all those who incite, call for or promoted such activities verbally or in writing would be punished with sentences of imprisonment and fine of no less than 30 thousand pounds and no more than 50 thousand pounds. 

On his side, Mr. Hafez Abu Saeda, the Chairman of EOHR, emphasized that the right to peaceful protest and its legitimacy has been one of the gains of the revolution of the 25th of January. The government gets its legitimacy from the protests of Tahrir Square. He described the draft bill to be a “relapse” of democracy and a return to the policy of gagging which has been followed during the reign of the old regime. This also poses a threat to the gains of the revolution because of the strict punishment it imposes against the organizers of protests.

 Abu Saeda disapproved of the policy of punishment and criminalization, and imposing a punishment instead of the policy of dialogue, persuasion, communication and building bridges with marginalized and oppressed segments of the society to find out the reasons behind their decisions to strike. He called on the government to retreat from it especially that it is not consistent with the nature of the ongoing phase in the light of the talk on freedoms, rights and the increase of the ceiling of demands. It is more consistent with the nature of the pre-revolution phase where the legislative system restraining the right to peaceful assembly had been effective including the law on assembling number 10 for the year 1914 and the law on meetings and demonstrations number 14 for the year 1923.




 

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